Complications From a Dog Bite
Dog bite injuries are unlike other types of lacerations or abrasions. These wounds can develop into other medical conditions. These ailments can last for a long time and be expensive to treat. Some of these conditions include, but are not limited to:
- Infections - Due to the nature of a dog bite, microbes can enter your blood stream. This could lead to Staph infections, MRSA or worse. Depending on the health of the dog, you could even contract a disease such as rabies. The result of such infections includes sickness, amputation and death.
- Disfigurement - Another condition that could result from a dog attack is disfigurement. When this happens, victims often carry scars that change their looks and their ability to function. Dog bite scars on the hands can leave fingers unable to move. If damage from the wound is bad enough, it may require amputation. Scars left on the face and neck can lead to social difficulties and emotional distress. This could contribute to any other psychological conditions suffered due to the attack.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Also known as PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder is an often unforeseen result of dog attacks. Panic attacks, irrational fear, depression and flashbacks often haunt sufferers of this disorder. PTSD is often caused by intense trauma. And though children are most at risk for developing dog attack-related PTSD, adults are susceptible as well.
Who Is Liable for a Dog Bite?
California has several laws in place when it comes to determining fault in a dog attack case. These laws can hold property owners, dog owners, dog handlers or even third-parties liable. The circumstances of the incident often play a role in who is responsible. California Civil Code Section 3342—which governs what liabilities a dog owner has—may even come into play when recovering compensation.
Another law that could come into play is CACI No. 405, the comparative fault rule. This regulation relates to how much responsibility each party has in an incident. Even victims can have some fault appropriated to them. Though partial responsibility for an incident will not exclude you from recovering damages, it can limit the amount of damages recoverable. Understanding this and accounting for all parties involved is critical to achieving fair results.
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