Valparaiso Dog Bite Lawyer
Were you or your child bitten by a dog in Valparaiso? Did you suffer severe injuries and experience emotional stress and anguish as a result of this vicious attack? If so, know that you’re not alone, and qualified legal help is available to you. At Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers, our injury attorneys have seen firsthand the devastation that dog bites can have on the lives of victims and their families, and we are committed to helping you recover the compensation you need for medical care and other losses you’ve incurred.
Our team is ready to stand up and fight for you. We know that you’re dealing with a traumatic experience that could have a lasting or permanent impact on your life. Our goal will be to help you recover what you’re owed to make you whole again. The dog’s owner can and should be held responsible for what happened. Fortunately, most attacks of this nature are covered by homeowners’ insurance policies, so insurance coverage should be available to compensate you.
Let our team sit down with you to discuss your situation during a free, no-obligation case evaluation. We’ll review your rights and legal options with you, and will decide the best course of action. Call us at (219) 286-7361 or reach out online to schedule your consultation today.
The Risk of a Dog Bite
Contrary to the widespread belief that a dog’s mouth is clean, a bite from any dog that punctures the skin will leave bacteria or other infectious organisms in the skin. Then, the bacteria can reproduce and spread throughout the body.
Regardless of whether the owner had the dog vaccinated or not, you should consider all bite wounds as possibly contaminated or infected. A bite left untreated can result in a periodontal abscess or a tissue infection that spreads through the infected area. On rare occasions, a dog or pet bite wound can cause infections in your joints and infections in the bone.
How Do I Treat a Dog Bite?
If a dog bites you, you should take these steps right away to prevent infection:
- Use soap and water on the wound to keep it clean
- Use a clean towel on the wound and apply pressure to stop the bleeding
- Apply antibiotic cream or alcohol
- Wrap the bite wound in a clean bandage or band-aid
Keep the wound clean by changing the bandage frequently until your doctor examines it. Continue to look for signs of infection like redness, swelling, intense pain, and a sudden fever.
Serious Dog Bites that Require Immediate Medical Attention:
- A deep wound
- A warm feeling from the bite wound
- Damage to the nerves or bones
- Persistent bleeding from the bite
- The wound is red and swollen
Make sure to visit a doctor within eight hours of any dog bite, per the medical physician Stephen Sayles III, MD. Waiting too long to visit the doctor increases your risk of getting an infection.
Can You Get an Infection From a Bite?
Dog bites on the hands or feet have a high risk of infection. There are several infections that can occur from dog bites that are serious and may lead to other health complications. Ignoring certain symptoms and not treating these infections can be fatal. Serious infections that can occur from a dog bite include:
If your dog bite has a Capnocytophaga infection, you may show the following symptoms:
- A red, painful, and swollen bite mark
- A sudden fever
- Blisters on or surrounding the bite mark
- Painful joints
- Pus oozing from the bite mark
- Sudden diarrhea
- Sudden vomiting
These symptoms can begin anywhere between one to two weeks after your dog bite. The following factors can increase your risk of infection:
- Immune system conditions
- Spleen-removal surgery or a spleen-related disease
- Undergoing chemotherapy treatment
- Using alcohol excessively
Not treating Capnocytophaga symptoms may include:
- Gangrene – the physical death of your body tissue due to a lack of blood flow or a serious bacterial infection
- Heart attack – a heart attack may occur due to very low blood pressure or oxygen levels, as well as toxin damage
- Kidney failure – the inability to eliminate waste & toxins from the blood
Your doctor should prescribe antibiotics to treat a dog bite with Capnocytophaga infection.
An untreated dog bite may lead to sepsis—a severe reaction to infection that can be life-threatening. Symptoms that you have a sepsis infection include:
- A sudden change in body temperature (high or low)
- Becoming confused
- Sudden sleepiness
- Severe pain or discomfort
If you believe that you have a sepsis infection, you should seek immediate medical attention. Your doctor must treat the infection with antibiotics and intravenous fluids.
You may get rabies if a dog that has rabies bites you. Symptoms that you have rabies include:
- A sudden headache
- Flu-like symptoms
- Body weakness
- Itchy or prickly feeling around the wound
A rabies infection is dangerous and may be fatal if you do not seek medical attention right away. Your doctor should give you a post-exposure rabies vaccine to treat the infection.
A dog bite wound may allow tetanus bacteria to enter your bloodstream. Symptoms that you have a tetanus infection include:
- Jaw cramps or spasms
- Muscle spasms
- Stomach spasms
- Difficulty swallowing
- Stiff muscles
Getting a tetanus infection is serious. If you have symptoms of tetanus after a dog bite, you need immediate medical care. Your doctor should prescribe various medications, antibiotics, and a tetanus vaccine.
Is My Dog Bite Minor?
You should seek medical help immediately if the dog that bit you was acting strangely, or if you are unsure if the dog has had a rabies and tetanus vaccine. Possible long-term effects of an untreated dog bite include paralysis of extremity, chronic pain, prolonged suffering and discomfort, and loss or impairment of movement of the extremities.
Many times, what some initially consider a minor injury can result in damage to the muscle, bone, or tissue. Dog bite injury settlements can go up to several thousand dollars. If you have a dog bite injury and you believe the actions or negligence of the pet owner caused your injuries, you may be able to take legal action to seek compensation for you or your loved one’s injuries.
A dog bite wound can potentially cause serious injury to the skin and soft tissues. Don’t forget that dogs have a mouth full of sharp teeth and muscular jaws that can inflict serious wounds, rip tissue or penetrate the skin, fractured bones, or cause serious internal bleeding. A seemingly minor bite that does not tear the skin or bleed may cause bone fractures or bruises to the soft tissue underneath.
Dogs usually bite around the calves, thighs, hands, or neck. Vitally important structures in the neck, such as your carotid artery (or jugular), are at risk for injury. Wounds sustained to the face can cause serious damage to your eyes, ears, and mouth, not to mention permanent scarring. Injuries to the lower body, such as calves or thighs, typically involve torn ligaments or impaired joints.
Can I Sue if a Dog Bites Me?
A huge part of a pet owner’s responsibility is to protect others from any potential harm caused by their pet. Seriously injured people often need focused and expert care to deal with the long-term physical and psychological effects of their injuries. Personal injury lawyers understand that your goals after going through such trauma are to get your medical bills paid and covered, make sure you do not suffer financially, and make sure the person responsible pays for future treatment relating to your injury.
If someone else’s pet bites you or you sustain other injuries from the recklessness or negligence of a pet owner, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries. Under Indiana personal injury laws, if you sustained injuries by way of negligence or physical wrongdoing, you have up to two years after the incident to file a lawsuit.
Where Can I Find A Dog Bite Lawyer in Valparaiso?
At Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers, our experienced attorneys will discuss your situation and go over the options available to you. We’ll also contact the insurance companies and other parties involved in your case immediately to make sure that we handle your needs quickly and appropriately. Please note that there are time limitations for filing dog bite lawsuits.
When choosing a lawyer, you should look for a firm that has experience handling cases like yours. Our lawyers at Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers have the experience needed to handle difficult personal injury cases and to receive the maximum compensation for your injuries.
If you have sustained a dog bite injury and have medical bills to prove your conditions, consult with an experienced Valparaiso personal injury lawyer to learn about compensation you may deserve. Call the office of Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers at (219) 286-7361, or fill out the online contact form for a free initial consultation.