Can I Receive Compensation for a Dog Bite Infection?
Even though dogs are “man’s best friend,” they can turn quickly and attack you without provocation. As a result, dog bites and attacks cause tremendous physical and emotional damage. Infections from dog bites can create severe, long-lasting health problems that could leave you out of work with a stack of medical bills—all while diminishing your quality of life.
If you wish to be compensated for an infection from a dog bite in Colorado, you will need a strong, fierce, and dedicated advocate. In Boulder, CO, the dog bite lawyers from Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C., have over 100 years of combined experience winning financial compensation for dog bite victims and others who have sustained life-altering injuries because of another’s negligence. Our award-winning lawyers use their expertise to deliver results for people like you.
Why Do Dog Bites Get Infected?
A dog’s mouth (just like a human’s mouth) is full of bacteria. The bacteria in the dog’s saliva and teeth gets transmitted to the victim when the dog bites them. Washing the wound thoroughly with warm soap and water can remove the bacteria and prevent infection in many cases. But preventing an infection simply by washing an injury can be difficult if the dog sinks its fangs deep into your flesh. When a dog bite penetrates deeply and tears your skin away, it can leave jagged, uneven lacerations. These can be difficult to clean properly. You should call 911 immediately if the wound does not stop bleeding, if you feel faint, or if your injuries are extensive.
Even for a less-serious injury, seeking immediate medical intervention after a dog bite could help prevent infections. However, you should know the signs and symptoms of infection even after receiving emergency medical treatment. Symptoms of an infection include:
- Swelling and redness surrounding the wound site;
- Fluids draining from the wound;
- Excessive pain, especially after a day has passed;
- Difficulty moving the injured body part; and
- Experiencing a warming sensation around the damage.
You should immediately contact a medical professional if you have any of these symptoms. Additionally, you must seek emergency treatment if you have a fever, shaking, or night sweats. These symptoms indicate that the infection may have spread to other body parts beyond the dog bite location.
Dog Bite Victims Can Suffer Serious Complications from an Infection
Dog bites on your extremities can be very dangerous. Bites to hands and feet frequently become infected, which leads to a greater risk of complications.
Specific bacteria from a dog’s mouth, such as capnocytophaga, can lead to gangrene, heart attack, and kidney failure. Symptoms of a capnocytophaga infection include oozing, fever, vomiting, headaches, joint pain, and fever. Other infections include staph infections, Pasteurella, tetanus, rabies, and sepsis—all of which can be fatal or cause severe health problems.
How Can I Receive Compensation for a Dog Bite Infection?
Colorado’s dog bite law allows victims to file claims against dog owners for economic damages that result from an attack. The law specifies circumstances under which a victim can recover compensation for serious bodily injuries or death. Serious bodily injuries in Colorado include bone breaks and fractures, as well as wounds that create a substantial risk of death, disfigurement, loss, or impairment of a body part or organ.
Colorado’s dog bite law does not require the victim to prove that the owner knew of the dog’s viciousness, dangerousness, or propensity to attack. In other words, a dog owner is strictly liable for the economic damages caused when their dog bites someone. To have a viable claim, you cannot have done any of the following:
- Ignored warning signs posted about the animal, or
- Provoked the dog.
Furthermore, if you are a dog handler engaged in your professional duties, you likely will not have the right to sue the dog owner.
Economic damages refer to direct financial losses. It can include things such as:
- Medical bills,
- Future medical expenses,
- Lost salary or wages,
- Loss of prospective financial advantage,
- Rehabilitation costs, and
- The value of the services and support you provided to your household.
Colorado’s dog bite statute does not automatically allow victims to claim non-economic damages like pain and suffering. As stated, economic damages are based on strict liability—which means you don’t have to prove negligence to get compensated for direct financial losses.
However, non-economic damages are not based on strict liability. Instead, if you want to cover non-economic damages, you must prove the dog owner was negligent when the dog bit you. The easiest way to do that is to prove that the dog bit someone before, and the owner did nothing to stop it from happening again.
Speak to your attorney if you think you might qualify for such damages. If so, you could get compensation for losses like pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of the enjoyment of life, and other emotional injuries.
How Can You Receive Compensation for a Dog Bite Infection?
Call Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C., today at 800-873-3202 to schedule your free consultation. We never take a fee unless we recover an award for you. To date, we have won over $100 million in financial compensation for our clients. Our lawyers have received some of the legal profession’s most prestigious awards because of their commitment to fighting for justice for people like you. Don’t wait any longer.
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