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Dog Bite Complications


Being bitten by a dog can be an extremely emotionally traumatic experience, especially for children. However, dog bites can also be dangerous and have serious medical complications. Fortunately, Florida law allows dog bite victims to collect compensation to cover the cost of treatment.

Typical Dog Bite Injuries

Every year, thousands of people are bitten by dogs across the country. The most common injuries include puncture wounds, which result in bleeding, bruising, pain, and eventual scarring. Fortunately, if these types of shallow wounds are cleaned properly and bandaged, they will not usually have serious side effects. Deeper wounds, on the other hand, inflicted by larger dogs can have serious consequences, as the bite could have affected the ligaments, muscles, or bones. Most deep penetrating wounds must be stitched by a physician, although even after treatment, the injured party will most likely suffer from disfiguring scars.

Potential Complications

Unfortunately, many dog bite victims also suffer complications as a result of their injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common complication arising from dog bites is infection. In fact, it is estimated that one in five dog bite cases results in an infection. The most common infections and diseases include:

  • Rabies, which is a virus that spreads through the brain and is transmitted by an infected animal through its saliva;
  • Pasteurella, which is the most common kind of bacteria transmitted via dog bite and can cause pain, redness, and swelling;
  • MRSA, which is a deadly bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics; and
  • Tetanus, which is a toxin transmitted via certain types of bacteria that can cause paralysis if the victim is not vaccinated.

Although these are the most serious strains of bacteria and types of infections, there are actually a variety of other, more minor infections, that can cause tissue death near the bite wound. In some cases, amputation could be necessary to prevent the spread of the disease to other parts of the body.

Florida Law

Under state law, a dog owner can be held liable for injuries caused by the animal if the bite occurs on public property or while the victim is lawfully on private property. Unlike other states, Florida does not require an owner to have preexisting knowledge that the dog has shown vicious tendencies in the past. However, if a victim provoked the animal, the owner’s liability will be reduced. Furthermore, if a dog owner displays a “dangerous dog sign”, the injured party will not usually be able to recover damages, unless he or she was under the age of six years old.

Call an Experienced Florida Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Case Evaluation

Dog bites can cause serious complications, that if left untreated can have devastating consequences for victims. The treatments necessary to prevent infections and disease can be ruinously expensive, so if you were recently bitten by a dog in Fort Lauderdale, please contact Boone & Davis at 954-566-9919 to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case and explain your legal options.



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