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Infections After a Dog Bite

Infections After a Dog Bite
Infections After a Dog Bite

Dog bites that break the skin can quickly turn serious. Deeper bites inflicting puncture wounds create lasting damage below the surface. Once the skin barrier breaks, bacteria from canine mouths embed into muscle and tissue layers underlying the bite marks.

Infections left unchecked lead to tissue death, permanent disability, and loss of limb function. Puncture wounds require urgent medical attention to halt advancing complications.

Our experienced dog bite lawyers understand the pain and suffering dog bite victims experience. We have dedicated our practice to helping injured Californians recover damages after animal attacks.

If you or a loved one suffered infections, nerve damage, emotional trauma, or other harm from a dog bite, we can help you understand your rights.

Dog Attacks Lead to Dangerous Infections in California

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) statistics, dogs bite 4.5 million Americans annually, with one in five bites becoming infected. These jaw injuries go deep, inoculating bacteria from the dog’s mouth into tissue, blood, and bone.

Dog attacks require immediate emergency care as life-changing disabilities or even death can result from infected wounds. While most people know that exposure to rabies causes neurological devastation, staph and strep also frequently piggyback into infected bite victims’ bodies.

While some dog bites may seem minor initially, red flags indicating serious injury often appear later. Repeated punctures and tears from canine teeth introduce bacteria into puncture wounds. Germs multiply, launching swelling, redness, pain, and pus within days after the violent skin contact.

Tetanus Requires Prompt Intervention

Ignoring a dog bite infection can be devastating or even deadly in California. Tetanus represents one of the most serious risks after animal bites. Caused by Clostridium tetani bacterial spores in soil, rust, or manure, tetanus enters through wounded skin.

As the bacteria multiply, they release toxins that attack the nervous system. Lockjaw, painful muscle contractions, trouble swallowing, and seizures characterize advanced tetanus. Left untreated, complications turn deadly as the toxin attacks respiratory muscles.

All dog bite victims should review their tetanus immunization status after being wounded by an unfamiliar animal. Those uncertain of vaccination dates or knowing they lack up-to-date boosters require immediate shots.

Staph and Strep Infections Require Extensive Medical Testing and Care

Ignoring a dog bite infection can be devastating or even deadly in California. Once in the bloodstream, infections disseminate to joints, organs, the spinal cord, and the brain if left untreated. Additionally, rabies and other neuroinvasive diseases may incubate for years after transmission. Tear wounds also require aggressive cleaning and sutures.

Rabies Changes Lives Forever

Beyond significant medical bills and lost income from missed work, bites extract lasting emotional trauma. Young children suffer greater vulnerability, often requiring plastic surgery. Meanwhile, psychological trauma from this personal violation triggers lifetime repercussions, burdening victims with a lasting fear of canines. Raw scars remind survivors of helplessness after the brutal attack as well.

Common Signs of an Infection After a Dog Bite

Because dog bites penetrate deep into tissues, infections often brew undetected for days before victims realize swelling and pain signals trouble. Left too long, a bite can turn life-threatening as bacteria mutants are resistant to antibiotics. Catching early warning signs allows early medical intervention so problems don’t escalate out of control.

Typical early infection red flags include:

  • Oozing from puncture wounds
  • Increasing wound redness
  • Skin warmth radiating outward
  • Regional swelling and firmness
  • Odd-colored drainage with a foul odor
  • Growing discomfort or throbbing

These suggest mild infection is starting to take hold. Seek medical care promptly to prevent rapid worsening.

More advanced infection signs involve:

  • Chills, fever, nausea, dizziness
  • Red streaks tracking away from the wound
  • Pus pockets under the skin
  • Hard lumps in muscle tissue
  • Joint stiffness or loss of motion
  • Difficulty bearing weight on limb

When bacteria spread into deeper structures, patients cannot fight the infection alone. Intravenous antibiotics, wound drainage, and surgical cleaning have become necessary. Delays in getting help now complicate recoveries.

Life-threatening complications cause:

  • High fevers with severe chills
  • Rapid heart rate, low blood pressure
  • Shortness of breath, leg swelling
  • Altered mental status, seizures
  • Uncontrolled muscle spasms
  • Kidney failure requiring dialysis

These suggest sepsis, where bacteria overwhelms the circulation. Patients deteriorate rapidly – early detection and medications prove critical to survival.

What To Do After Suffering Bite Injuries

First, immediately clean the wound with soap and seek emergency medical assistance to evaluate your condition. Allow doctors to provide emergency care treatment to the infected area, such as stitches and antibiotics, and determine if immunizations or rabies prevention shots will be necessary. Always retain your medical records.

Next, document full details of the traumatic incident plus any resulting income loss or personal expenses related to the attack. Also, track bites that require further surgical repairs and any emotional harm or new phobias.

Finally, contact us for a free case review. Retain an advocate to negotiate with insurance companies, counsel you, and handle your dog bite litigation claims while you pursue rightful justice.

California Dog Bite Personal Injury Laws Support Dog Attack Victims

State statutes protect your rights after suffering infectious assaults by poorly controlled animals. California Civil Code § 3342 applies strict liability on dog owners, forcing them to assume responsibility for damages from unprovoked dog attacks.

Accordingly, the owner’s insurance must fully compensate you for medical expenses, lost wages, permanent impairment and disabilities, disfigurement from scars, plus pain and emotional suffering.

State law also supports quick financial and traumatic injury recoveries. Successful litigation remedies out-of-pocket and general damages (i.e., pain and suffering) through out-of-court settlements and favorable jury awards. By assigning fault using California’s dog bite rules, you take back control of your life and send a meaningful message to other negligent dog owners, effectively preventing future attacks.

How Can a California Dog Bite Attorney Help?

Retaining a California Dog Bite Attorney immediately after treating an infected dog bite wound protects your rights for total compensation. LA DOG BITE LAW assists animal attack victims in Southern California.

We thoroughly investigate every minute detail to build ironclad strict liability claims through sworn statements, veterinary records, photographic evidence, animal control records, medical evidence, damage assessment, and expert testimonies.

Schedule a free case review to discuss your options, or complete our online contact form, and we’ll get back to you. Protect your future and assert your rights in court. We stand ready to help you take control of your road toward recovery.

From Injury to Answer: Understanding Dog Bite Claims in California

Whether you’ve suffered from deep lacerations, infections, nerve damage, emotional trauma, or other types of dog bite injuries, our experienced team is here to provide you with the legal support and guidance you need.

Can my family sue if a loved one dies due to a dog bite infection?

Yes, if a loved one dies from an infected dog bite, their family can file a wrongful death claim against the dog owner. This legal action allows them to recover damages and compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and earnings, loss of companionship, and more. The statute of limitations in California is two years from the date of death to file a lawsuit.

How long do I have to bring dog bite litigation?

You typically have two years from the date of the dog bite incident under California’s statute of limitations to file a dog bite injury claim and a lawsuit seeking compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, permanent scarring or disabilities, and emotional trauma. The time period can also change depending on specific circumstances.

What if I can’t afford a dog bite lawyer?

Many dog bite attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you receive financial compensation or damages. This fee structure allows bite victims to pursue claims without paying hourly legal fees upfront. Initial consultations are also typically free. Southern Californians unable to afford an attorney can contact Los Angeles Legal Aid services for possible low pro bono representation.

What type of evidence should I gather for my dog bite lawyer?

Key evidence for a dog bite claim includes photographs of your infected bite wound and related injuries. A detailed incident report describing the circumstances of the attack also helps.

To support a California strict liability claim, you’ll generally need to admit to evidence:
  • Complete medical records related to the bite and resulting infection.
  • Veterinary reports about the dog’s history and owners.
  • Information about the dog owner.
  • Bills and receipts of out-of-pocket medical expenses paid.
  • Documents confirming missed work and lost income.
  • And witness statements if available.

Pictures should be taken at several intervals showing evidence of infection and healing. Finally, save copies of anything related to your case. Your attorney will use these materials to assign absolute liability.

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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