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Organ DamageDue to Dog Attacks

dog bite injuries organ damage
dog bite injuries organ damage

Dog bites that result in organ damage can have devastating and lifelong consequences. When a dog’s teeth puncture internal organs and tissues, victims may suffer serious infections, organ failure, and other severe health complications.

Understanding the causes, seeking immediate healthcare, and knowing your legal rights are all critical for those harmed in these traumatic events. The experienced California dog bite lawyers at LA Dog Bite Law fight to help victims recover compensation for their immense suffering.

Dog Bites Can Cause Severe Internal Injuries and Death

Over the past decade, an average of 43 deaths per year occurred in the U.S. from being bitten or struck by a dog, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The number of annual deaths has been increasing, more than doubling from 2018-2021 for both men and women.

Recently, more deaths have occurred among women than men from dog attacks. The data highlights trends regarding serious and sometimes fatal dog attacks.

Dog bites that penetrate deep into the body put victims at high risk for internal injuries. Powerful breeds like pit bulls, Rottweilers, and German shepherds have strong, large jaws and sharp teeth that can crush bones, tear blood vessels, and damage organs. Even smaller dogs can puncture internal tissues if children or elderly victims have less protective fat and muscle over vital areas.

Bite wounds may directly lacerate organs like the:

  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • Spleen
  • Intestines

Severe crushing injuries can later cause organ failure or rupture. These life-altering internal wounds require immediate emergency surgery and extensive hospitalization.

The Symptoms and Effects of Organ Damage

Crushed, lacerated, or bruised internal organs severely impact critical bodily functions. Symptoms arising immediately or long after a dog attack can include:

  • Severe pain in the torso, back or limbs
  • Vomiting or coughing up blood
  • Abdominal rigidity or swelling
  • Fever and chills from infections
  • Unstable vital signs
  • Bloody urine or stools

And further devastating effects like:

  • Organ failure – Non-function of kidneys, liver, lungs or heart
  • Toxic shock
  • Permanent disability
  • Amputations
  • Death (if multiple organs shut down)

Surgeries, transfusions, dialysis, drainage tubes, and life support may be needed while the recovery prognosis remains uncertain.

Getting Medical Care After a Dog Attack

Victims suffering deep bite punctures to the torso or limbs should seek emergency care right away.

Even if wounds don’t appear serious at first, underlying organ and tissue trauma can rapidly lead to dangerous or deadly infections like:

  • Sepsis – Body-wide inflammation from severe infection
  • Rabies – Fatal viral infection of the brain
  • Capnocytophaga – Bacteria causing organ failure, sepsis, amputations and death

Hospital testing determines wound depth, which tissues and organs may be affected, and screens for dangerous bacteria and viruses. This guides appropriate surgical procedures, IV antibiotics, and other urgent treatments needed to stabilize dog bite victims.

Emotional Trauma and Other Consequences

The psychological impact of horrific dog bite injuries can last a lifetime. Children attacked during critical developmental phases face long-term mental health effects like PTSD, anxiety, depression, and emotional scarring. Even smaller scars or wounds can trigger distress when reminders of near-death trauma remain visible.

Victims also endure major lifestyle costs for healthcare, recovery support, and loss of income across their lifetime. Support from family, psychiatrists, therapists, and service dogs can aid emotional healing. But no amount of money can fully compensate victims to the level before an attack.

California Strict Liability Dog Bite Laws and Your Legal Rights

California upholds strong, strict liability statutes protecting public safety from dangerous dog behaviors. This means dog owners face responsibility for others’ injuries regardless of former aggression, breed reputation, just one bite, or negligence claims.

Certain factors can also increase owner liability, like having knowledge of aggression risks, failing to restrain dogs in public areas, leaving children unattended with dogs, or provoking pets.

To gain fair compensation in a legal claim, attack victims must prove:

  • The owner’s dog bit them
  • They endured physical, emotional, or financial damages

Then state laws entitle victims to recover all hard costs related to:

  • Medical bills
  • Additional healthcare
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Home health aides
  • Counseling and psychiatric care
  • Lost income now and in the future
  • Permanent injuries or disability

Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You Recover Compensation

If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog bite attack in California, contact an experienced dog bite lawyer right away.

At the LA Dog Bite Law, our legal team has helped victims recover millions in compensation for injuries, pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income, disability costs, and other damages stemming from severe dog maulings.

Our track record shows we aim to maximize compensation in even the toughest cases. If you or a loved one suffered organ damage or other horrific injuries from a dog attack, contact us today for a free case review.

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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