It is difficult to know right away if a dog bite is serious, which is why, if you have any question at all, you should get checked out by a doctor immediately. If your bite seems minor, and you believe you can forgo a medical appointment, you should remain on alert for a number of telltale signs in the ensuing days that your dog bite is more severe than you initially thought. These signs include swelling, redness, tender lymph nodes, and more.
It is always better to err on the side of caution and assume a dog bite is serious than it is to labor under the assumption it is nothing and go on with your life. As with all injuries, dog bites are much easier to treat when you address them early, rather than letting them fester for days or weeks. Another benefit of early treatment is that you create an official medical record that links your medical care to the bite, making it easier to pursue compensation from the dog’s owner.
How to Know if Your Dog Bite Is Serious
As with many injuries, the question of how do you know if a dog bite is serious is not always readily answered. Just because the wound is not gushing blood immediately after the bite does not mean damage has not taken place. The damage might take days or weeks to notice. When there is any doubt, you should assume that the bite is at least somewhat serious and get yourself checked out by a doctor. In the event of a minor bite, such as a little terrier nipping at your ankle, you might be safe holding off on medical care, but you should still be on the lookout for signs of a worsening infection.
One of the dangers of a dog bite, once you get past the immediate stage of bleeding and broken skin, is that the wound can become infected. When an infection occurs, it can spread in your body and cause damage to far-reaching places if you do not address it quickly. People die every year from localized infections that do not get treated in time and spread throughout their bodies.
According to Healthline, some of the most common signs of infection from a dog bite include:
- Pus coming from the wound
- Soreness or tenderness in the area
- Numbness or loss of feeling
- Excessive redness
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Night sweats
- Excessive fatigue
- Trouble breathing
- Muscle weakness
These are only a few of the warning signs that an infection has taken root at the site of the wound. If you are at all unsure on how to know if a dog bite is serious, or fear that something is not right, even if the injury seemed minor in the beginning, you should get checked out by a doctor sooner rather than later.
Holding the Dog’s Owner Liable for Your Dog Bite Injury
Under New York Agriculture & Markets Law Section 123, New Yorkers who get injured by pet dogs often have valid civil liability claims against the pet’s owner. Owners of dogs with a history of aggressive behavior in New York must supervise their animals and keep them from harming other people. That means leashes while in public, a fenced-in yard at home, and close supervision at all times.
If someone else’s dog bit you, a dog bite lawyer can help you hold the owner liable. One reason you should see a doctor right away is that a medical exam conducted right after the dog bite will link the attack to your injuries, drawing a clear cause-and-effect relationship.
Your Dog Bite Injury Compensation
A dog bite injury lawyer can help you recover the following forms of compensation from the pet’s owner:
- Medical expenses to treat the wound and resulting injuries
- Lost wages while missing work
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering and inconvenience
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- And more if you qualify
Call (631) 451-7900 for a Dog Bite Injury Free Consultation
The dog bite injury lawyers at Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. can help you recover compensation for your injury. We will hold the dog’s owner liable and fight for your rights. For a free, no-obligation case evaluation, call us today at (631) 451-7900. Spanish- and Russian-speaking staff are available.