A dog can be an incredible companion or a source of entertainment. However, they can also cause lasting injuries to people, making them a major source of liability for their owners.
Many dog bites primarily result in emotional trauma. They frighten someone, possibly a young child, making it hard for them to feel comfortable around dogs or out in parks in the future. Unfortunately, some dog bite attacks cause more than just psychological stress. They may also result in serious physical injury.
The kind of trauma someone experiences in a dog bite attack will differ depending on the age of the individual, the breed of the dog and the exact situation. However, the worst-case outcomes in a dog bite attack often fall into one of three categories.
- Disfiguring wounds
When a dog is able to reach someone’s face, possibly because they attack a child or someone reclined on a sofa, the consequences could be severe. Disfiguring injuries can cost tens of thousands of dollars to correct. They can also lead to claims related to lost earning potential. Bites to visible areas and to young children still growing often result in the most disfiguring scars.
- Severe infections
The long, tapered structure of a dog’s teeth makes them very dangerous for the purposes of disease transmission. Without proper medical intervention and frequent inspection combined with deep cleaning practices, those attacked by a dog could very easily develop a serious infection. The risk of infection is one of the reasons why even adults attacked by an aggressive canine may need to seek out medical care following the incident.
- Severe traumatic injuries
Larger dog breeds and animals trained to guard people, fight other animals or act aggressively can inflict severe injuries in only a few moments. Some of the worst dog bite incidents involve torn or removed flesh. People can lose a lot of blood, putting them at medical risk.
Bite wounds to delicate tissue, such as the hands, could cause irreparable damage, as could a bite to the back of the knee or ankle if the dog severs a tendon. Injuries that break bones, damage connective tissue or result in significant blood loss often come with major medical bills and a lengthy recovery.
The consequences of a dog bite attack can persist for months after the incident itself. Filing a homeowner’s insurance claim or pursuing a personal injury lawsuit could be necessary for the people harmed in a dog bite attack situation.