What Are the Long-Term Effects of a Dog Bite?

dog's face up close
Madeleine Jones
November 12, 2019

The aftermath of a dog bite can be very overwhelming – and the effects can be long-lasting. The attack may leave you with severe injuries, some that may require reconstructive surgery or lengthy recovery periods. You may experience a loss of wages due to your recovery, as well as face medical bills and emotional trauma as a result of the bite.

Dog bites do not begin and end with the attack itself. In fact, you may grapple with the long-term effects of the bite for a long time after the initial injury.

dog's face up close

Preventing a Dog Bite Infection

The most major long-term risk of a dog bite is the risk of infection. Dogs do not always have the cleanest teeth and may be carrying communicable diseases that they can pass on through a bite – including meningitis, heart infection, rabies, sepsis, and staph infections.

In the moments after a dog bite, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if the wound is minor. Take the following steps to prevent infection.

  • As soon as possible after the bite, rinse the area with water and gentle soap, such as baby soap. This will help remove any lingering saliva from the dog that could be carrying harmful bacteria.
  • Visit a doctor or call 911 to receive treatment, even if you do not believe the wound is serious. A medical professional will be able to examine your wound, administer special medications to help kill the bacteria, and give you necessary vaccinations to prevent conditions such as rabies or tetanus.
  • After cleaning the wound, you or your doctor should apply an antibiotic ointment to the surface. This will help kill any lingering bacteria that may remain on your skin after you’ve washed the area.
  • Bandage the bite after cleaning and drying the wound area. Your doctor will explain how often you should clean your wound and change your bandages when you seek medical attention. Keeping your bandages clean will help you prevent infection while the wound heals.

Collecting Compensation for Dog Bites in Nevada

In addition to the physical damage that a dog can leave you with, you may experience both economic and non-economic losses as a result of the attack. Economic losses refer to the tangible financial damages you suffer after the bite, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.

On the other hand, non-economic losses refer to the emotional damages you may experience after the dog bite. Some common types of non-economic damages include post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, disability or disfigurement, a loss of quality of life, and other forms of pain and suffering. You may also receive punitive damages in situations where the dog’s owner was especially negligent or reckless.

Under Nevada state law, you have the right to collect compensation for these losses through a dog bite lawsuit against the owner. To successfully receive a settlement in your lawsuit, you will need to show that the owner is liable for your damages by proving one of the following conditions occurred.

  • Animal control had previously classified the dog as dangerous or vicious.
  • The owner acted in negligence at the time of the attack.
  • The owner broke a municipal statute regarding ownership of the dog.
  • The dog has bitten someone in the past.

Do You Need an Attorney for Your Dog Bite Case?

Proving negligence in a Nevada dog bite case can be difficult. Unlike many other states, Nevada does not have a specific dog bite statute; instead, you will need to satisfy your case using one of the grounds listed above. Proving a dog bite lawsuit requires significant legal training and experience assisting other people with dog bites – and hiring an attorney can help.

A Nevada dog bite attorney can provide a number of benefits for your dog bite case. He or she will have access to resources, investigative techniques, and experts who can help build a compelling case in your favor. Your lawyer will have a strong knowledge of Nevada dog bite laws, helping you satisfy the necessary elements to prove your lawsuit.

If you have not done so already, contact a Las Vegas dog bite lawyer to discuss your case and your optimal pathways toward maximum compensation.

If you would like to learn more about the personal injury claims process, or you would like a guide on how to win your personal injury case, just add your email below. We will send you our top tips for absolutely free.

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