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Abdominal InjuriesCaused By Dog Bites

dog bite injuries abdominal injuries
dog bite injuries abdominal injuries

Dog bites that cause abdominal injuries can lead to severe health complications for the victim. When a dog attacks and bites a person in the stomach or abdominal area, the teeth can puncture organs, muscles, and blood vessels.

This often results in serious wounds that require immediate emergency medical care to prevent infection, organ damage, and other life-threatening conditions.

This guide will cover the common abdominal traumas caused by dog bites, California’s liability laws, how to file an insurance claim and lawsuit, and the damages victims can pursue through legal action. The experienced attorneys at LA Dog Bite Law can help you understand your legal options and fight to recover maximum damages.

What Causes Abdominal Injuries from Dog Bites?

There are two main causes of abdominal trauma from dog bites: blunt force trauma and penetrating bite wounds.

The sheer force of a dog’s jaws clamping down can cause bruising and internal bleeding without breaking the skin. Even without a bite, being knocked over by a jumping or rambunctious dog can lead to liver, spleen, kidney, or bowel injuries.

At the same time, a dog’s sharp teeth can easily pierce skin and muscle to damage underlying organs. Large, aggressive breeds like pit bulls, Rottweilers, German shepherds, and Chows have very strong bite force, which increases the risk of serious abdominal wounds. Their large canine teeth can leave deep puncture wounds and ragged lacerations prone to infection.

Common Abdominal Injuries from Dog Attacks

Some of the most common abdominal injuries caused by dog bites in California include:

  • Puncture wounds – Deep piercing bites that damage underlying tissues and organs. These carry bacteria from the dog’s mouth deep into the wound, raising infection risk.
  • Lacerations – Ragged tearing injuries that create flaps of skin or tissue. These bleeding wounds are also very vulnerable to infection.
  • Organ damage – Bites that puncture organs like the liver, spleen, kidneys, or bowel. This can lead to severe internal bleeding or peritonitis.
  • Bowel perforation – When a dog bite punctures the intestinal wall, allowing digestive contents to spill into the abdominal cavity. This causes peritonitis and sepsis.
  • Bruising and bleeding – Blunt trauma from a dog attack can lead to extensive bruising or internal bleeding without breaking the skin, which can be deadly.

Symptoms of Abdominal Injuries from Dog Bites

Some symptoms that may indicate abdominal trauma after a dog bite attack include:

  • Severe pain in the stomach/abdominal area
  • Bruising, swelling, or bleeding from bite wounds on the torso
  • Deep puncture or laceration injuries
  • Vomiting or coughing up blood
  • Rigid, distended, or tender abdomen
  • Dizziness, weakness, or fainting
  • Shock
  • Fever

These require emergency medical care, as they can indicate serious internal bleeding or organ damage. Even without dramatic symptoms, all dog bites pose a high risk for infection and other complications. Seek immediate medical help after any animal attack resulting in abdominal or torso injuries.

Treatment for Abdominal Dog Bite Injuries

Treatment focuses on stopping bleeding, preventing infection, and repairing damaged tissues or organs. This may involve:

  • Wound care – Cleaning bite wounds, removing damaged tissue, and suturing lacerations. Antibiotics are given to prevent infection.
  • Tetanus and rabies prevention – Tetanus boosters and rabies vaccine may be administered if the dog’s vaccination status is unknown.
  • Surgery – Procedures like laparoscopies or laparotomies allow doctors to find and repair perforations and stop internal bleeding.
  • Organ removal – In severe cases, damaged tissues like the spleen or sections of the bowel may need surgical removal if they cannot be repaired.
  • Medications – Antibiotics, pain relievers, and drugs to treat nausea or promote healing.
  • Rehabilitation – After surgery and recovery, physical therapy helps restore strength and function. Counseling addresses psychological trauma.

Serious abdominal injuries often require prolonged hospitalization, multiple operations, and extensive rehab. Even after discharge, victims require close follow-up to watch for delayed complications.

Your Protections Under California Dog Bite Laws

Under California’s dog bite statute, dog owners are strictly liable for all damages suffered by a bite victim, regardless of any former viciousness or negligence on the part of the owner.

Owners face this strict liability simply because they own the dog, with the only exceptions being if the victim was trespassing or harassing the dog when the bite occurred.

In addition, California’s loose dog laws make it illegal for owners to allow a dog to run loose off their property without restraint. Violations can result in misdemeanor charges, fines, and civil liability if the loose dog bites someone.

What Compensation is Available for Dog Bite Victims in California?

California has strict liability statutes regarding dog bites – owners are responsible for attacks regardless of any previous aggressive behavior. However, victims still need to pursue legal action to recover damages, which may include compensation for:

  • Medical bills from emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, medications, etc.
  • Future medical costs like additional surgery, physical therapy, etc.
  • Lost income due to missing work during recovery
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Permanent scars or disability

Actual settlement amounts depend on the severity of the injury, the need for ongoing treatment, and the applicability of the “one-bite rule”. An experienced California dog bite lawyer can help victims maximize compensation through negotiations or personal injury lawsuits.

LA Dog Bite Law Can Help Secure Your Legal Rights

If you or a loved one suffers abdominal trauma from a dog attack in California, contact LA Dog Bite Law as soon as possible. Our experienced dog bite injury attorneys will fight aggressively to secure your legal rights to compensation.

We handle every aspect of the personal injury claim process on your behalf so you can focus on healing and recovery.

Contact us today to learn more or schedule a free consultation with our legal team. Justice and compensation are a phone call away.

How to Report a Dog Bite Near You

Our reach extends throughout California, from the sunny streets of San Diego to the bustling cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, and beyond. We’re here to help victims across the state report dog bites, find the legal support they need, and ensure that justice is served. By reporting dog bites and seeking assistance, we’re all doing our part in making our communities safer while helping victims get back on their feet.

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