The number of dog bite incidents in the Bay Area rises and falls depending on the number of careless dog owners there are out there neglecting their duties. Pet owners are responsible for the control of their dogs and keeping pets and humans out of confusing situations (for the dog) where a bite might occur.
This “duty of care” is vital to the safety of people of all ages. A dog bite might be thought of as usually a nip and some temporary pain, but a bite can easily do much more damage.
Victims may suffer a severe injury, battle infection, and even miss days or weeks of work while trying to regain use of a hand or ankle. Medical care and physical therapy can total in the tens of thousands of dollars and victims may soon have to explore just who should be providing them with financial support.
Free Consultation and Information Session with a San Francisco Dog Bite Lawyer
If you or a loved one are seriously hurt in a dog attack incident, it’s vital to ensure you and your family receive the money to cover what may be an extensive round of medical care. For example, the dog’s owner, and other responsible parties, should be providing financial support for immediate treatment and for care needed in the future.
After a serious bite, you may have no idea how long your recovery will take and how much it will cost. In fact, doctors may not be entirely sure either. So it’s vital to seek the maximum compensation available for you and your family.
The legal team at the Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan is made up of skilled, experienced San Francisco Dog Bite Lawyers. Contact us for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to find out what your injury is really worth. We want you to know about every benefit available to you as you work to recover and return to your normal life.
Common Dog Bite San Francisco Emergency Room Treatment
After a serious dog bite at a San Francisco park or while dining at an outdoor restaurant, or anywhere else, you may have to seek emergency medical attention.
Call 911 and get as much information about the dog and the owner as you can before you leave for the emergency room. In addition, take pictures of the scene and the dog if you have time.
Once at the emergency room, doctors will be assessing the wound and coming up with appropriate treatment options.
According to Medscape, these are some of the most common procedures ER doctors will perform on dog bite patients:
- Inspection – The wound is observed to determine how deep the tissue damage goes. Furthermore, the range of motion will be tested in the affected area. This can be a painful examination, so an anesthetic is sometimes administered to the patient.
- Debridement – The process of cleaning the wound. For instance, this involves removing and cutting away damaged tissue and foreign matter. Bites from a smaller dog may have tiny puncture wounds that are harder to clean out. Additionally, incisions may be necessary to access damaged tissue.
- Irrigation – Cleaning continues by flushing out the bite cavity at all levels. Do this with a stream of water. However, larger, more contaminated wounds may need treatment in an operating room.
- Closure – Stitches may be necessary to ensure the wound heals properly and prevent scaring.
- Trauma Evaluation – With serious wounds, the patient is evaluated for the risk of life-threatening effects from the wound. As a result, moving to an intensive care ward or trauma center may be necessary. Internal organ damage and internal bleeding may require life-saving care.
Treatment for Infections After a Dog Attack
Victims who are bitten may also face the risk of infection by the bacteria that lives in an animal’s mouth. A bite on the hands or feet carries an extra high risk of infection.
Capnocytophaga is a type of infection dog bite victims are at risk of getting. Furthermore, an infection may lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches. In severe cases, kidney failure and gangrene are possible outcomes.
Medical News Today lists off the symptoms of infection to watch out for after a dog attack:
- Swelling and redness.
- Pain that lasts more than a full day.
- Wound drainage.
- Mobility issues around the wound.
- A warm feeling in and around the wound.
- Fever, shaking, and night sweats.
Patients may need several rounds of powerful antibiotics to fight off infection.
Rabies is a type of infection you may have heard of. Identification of the dog that bit you and knowing if the dog has a rabies vaccine is a big help to your doctors. Observing if a dog that bit you was acting abnormally before it attacked is also important to note.
When a dog doesn’t have the rabies vaccine, you require post-exposure rabies shots. If you have a rabies infection and don’t seek treatment, you will die.
If you haven’t had a tetanus shot in the past five years and you get bit, you’ll be due for a shot.
Dog Owners Responsibility After a Dog Bite in the Bay Area
California law holds dog owners liable for bite injuries in most cases. California is a “strict liability” dog bite state. This means dog owners are accountable for the financial costs of bite recovery, even when their dogs have never bitten anyone previously.
Strict liability would hold dog owners fully responsible for the damages and costs as long as a lawyer can prove a few things. The bite must be in a public place or on property was the victim was legally visiting. The victim must not have provoked the dog into the attack.
When a dog owner’s negligence is responsible for a bite, file a claim for damages against the homeowners’ or renters insurance. If owners don’t carry this coverage, compensation may have to come out of the dog owner’s savings.
What Can I Earn Compensation for After a Dog Bite?
Dog attack victims get up to two years to file a dog bite accident injury claim in California. This claim would list the hardships a victim has faced in recovery.
A San Francisco dog bite lawyer representing the victim can file this claim for the victim and ensure no damage the victim sustains is off the list.
These are just a few of the factors that can earn compensation in a dog bite insurance settlement:
- Medical bills and physical therapy costs.
- The costs associated with a long-term injury or permanent disability.
- The costs associated with permanent disfigurement.
- Non-economic damages including the pain the victim endures and the emotional trauma suffered. The loss of enjoyment of life due to an injury.
- Past and future lost earnings.
- Damage to personal property.
Contact a Skilled Dog Bite Lawyer Serving San Francisco Victims
Contact the Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan for a free case evaluation and talk to a real Bay Area legal professional. We want to hear about what happened to you and help you secure the financial support you’ll need to heal and rebuild your life.
As one of the top dog bite law firms in the Bay Area, we build strong cases for our clients and make sure dog owners are fully accountable for their negligence.