Dogs are more popular than ever, and even more pets are likely to be living in American homes over the next decades. As the popularity of dogs rises, so does the incidence of dog bite injuries. Injuries due to a dog attack in Mobile, Alabama, is probably going to continue to go up. In fact, the number of injuries due to dogs has been increasing across the country.
Dog Bite Injuries in Mobile, Alabama
Dogs can bite people at any time or place. The common reason that dogs bite someone is that they are not properly restrained. Dogs are required to be on a leash at all times while in public areas. The idea behind the law is that dog owners must be in control of their pets under all circumstances.
Dogs are controlled by people, so the dog owners are responsible for injuries that result from their negligence. If the dog owner fails to keep the dog restrained and the animal bites someone, the owner may be liable for any expenses that are incurred because of the injury. A qualified personal injury attorney in Mobile, Alabama will assess your situation and help protect your rights.
Who is at Risk for Dog Bites in Mobile, Alabama?
Anyone can be bitten by a dog; however, children are at the highest risk for serious dog bite injuries. Children are lower to the ground, so they are closer to the animal and within range of a bite. They often get too near an animal and may be too trusting of animals they don’t know. For these reasons, children are often the victims of injuries due to dog bites.
Postal workers are also among those at an elevated risk of dog bites. Postal workers interact with a number of pets in the daily delivery of mail. Dog bites continue to be a real concern. The United States Postal Service, USPS, recently released a report ranking the cities with the highest number of dog bites in the country. The total number of dog bites across the country increased to more than 6,700 bites in 2016.
Dog Bites Cause Serious Injuries
Dog bites may have serious medical and emotional consequences. Dog attacks can be vicious and very dangerous much like any animal attack. Dogs can latch on as they bite, causing lacerations, broken bones, and other serious damages. Depending on the size of the dog, these wounds can be quite deep. If the dog is pulled off the victim, additional injuries can occur.
Dog bite wounds are often difficult to treat. They can become infected easily and need to be attended to very closely until they heal. Deep wounds may injure the tendons, muscles, and can even sever arteries. Some bites can be fatal. Dog bite wounds often need to heal from the inside out, so they are very hard to manage.
Risk of Rabies Due to Dog Attacks
All dogs are required by law to have regular rabies testing and protective vaccinations. If an unknown dog attacks you it is important to seek medical treatment as quickly as possible. Even a relatively minor bite could lead to serious medical issues. If a dog has rabies, it can be transmitted to a human through a bite or scratch. Unfortunately, there is no cure for rabies, so it could be fatal.
As soon as a dog bite occurs it is essential to report it to the authorities. The dog’s owner must be located and proof of rabies shots must be provided. If this is not available, or the dog has not been vaccinated, the dog bite victim must undergo treatment for rabies prevention at once.
Immediate and Long-Term Treatment
Dog bite injuries have to be treated as quickly as possible to ensure a positive outcome. The doctor must evaluate the damage to determine the extent of the injuries. If the wound caused damage to the muscles, tendons, or to any organs, surgery may be necessary. This must be done to stop the internal bleeding with a repair.
The recovery process for a dog bite is often a long and difficult one. The victim is often in a lot of pain for an extended period of time. Sometimes rehabilitation is needed to regain full function of the limb or other affected area. Once the wounds from a canine attack heal, the patient must then deal with scars. Scarring may be resolved through skin grafts or other reconstructive surgery. Depending on the location of the bite, the victim may be permanently disfigured.
Emotional Consequences of Dog Attacks
In addition to serious medical injuries, victims of dog attacks may also suffer emotional harm. The patient could have emotional trauma and even experience post-traumatic stress disorder after an attack. Some patients have repeated nightmares while others may be afraid to go near dogs again. Ongoing psychological care may be required for some patients, especially those who were severely injured. The victim should be evaluated to determine the impact of the bite on their psychological well-being.
What to Do After a Dog Bite Injury
If you or a family member suffered a dog bite injury, seek immediate medical care. File a police report so that there is a record of the incident. The police will work with animal control agencies to locate the animal and ensure that it is safe. Once your medical care has begun, you will want to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney in Mobile, Alabama. It is essential that you protect your rights after a mauling or even a simple bite.
In many dog bite cases, the owner of the animal was at fault because of their failure to keep others safe from harm. Some of these cases can be complex, so it is advisable to consult with a personal injury lawyer at once. Your attorney will review all the details of the case to determine how to proceed.
If you or someone you love was seriously hurt, you may be entitled to compensation. The costs of medical care, rehabilitation, and future treatments may all be owed to you by the responsible party. You may also receive punitive damages such as lost wages and money for pain and suffering and emotional harm. Contact the skilled Mobile, Alabama, personal injury lawyers at Charles McCorquodale Law to schedule a consultation today.