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Animal Bite - Medical Malpractice Lawyers

LEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125

Our medical malpractice lawyers deal with Animal Bite negligence cases. If you would like legal advice at no cost and with no further obligation just call the helpline or complete the contact form or email our lawyers offices. Our Animal Bite medical negligence lawyers usually deal with personal injury compensation cases on a contingency basis which means that you only pay your lawyers legal fees if the case is won.

Animal Bite - Medical Malpractice

Animal bites can occur with just about any animal, domesticated or wild. It can result in bruising of the skin or can result in a tear in the skin or just a puncture wound of the area. Common animals that bite include cats, dogs, rats, gerbils, bats or ferrets. Severe animal bites can come from aquatic animals like sharks or from wild animals like squirrels or bears. The most commonly infected bites come from puncture wounds of the skin because bacteria can go deep to the affected area. Rabies is the worst possible outcome from an animal bite and is more common in wild animals. All domesticated animals should be protected from rabies by means of vaccination. If you could possibly be bit by a rabid animal, you need to get rabies shots shortly after getting the bite so you don't die from this potentially lethal disease. If you are bit in an unprovoked attack by a domesticated animal or a wild animal, you should get rabies vaccinations.

Animal bites can be disfiguring, particularly if they become infected. It is worse on the face but can occur anywhere on the body. Believe it or not, most animal bites come from your own pet. Cat bites have a higher chance of leading to an infected bite but dog bites can cause infection, too. This is why you need to wash out bites as long as possible with soap, water and continued rinsing so as to limit the risk of infection. Wild animal bites frequently become infected and need medical attention immediately.

The symptoms of an animal bite involve a break, laceration, puncture or bruise on the skin. Puncture wounds may or may not bleed. Crush injuries can occur to underlying tissue and bone and this can increase the chance of bruising and infection. If you get infection, there is local redness, a red streak going to a nearby lymph node area and swollen lymph glands. You can get flu-like symptoms and headaches from animal bites as well.

There are things you need to do if you are bitten by an animal. Don't lose sight of the animal and have your local animal control pick up the animal. The animal can be watched for rabies or can be killed and tested for rabies, depending on the situation. Don't attempt to capture the animal yourself. Have clean hands when you tend to the wound and thoroughly wash it with soap and water. Stop bleeding with direct pressure to the affected area. If your fingers or hand is affected by the bite, see the doctor because these are more likely to get infected. It takes about two days to get an infection in the affected area so watch the wound for at least that long. Doctors may not suture the wound, especially if it won't make a cosmetic difference so as not to trap bacteria within the wound. Antibiotics are often given if a wound is sutured in order to prevent infection.

The best prevention is to stay away from a potentially rabid animal. These are animals that are acting unnecessarily aggressively. If they are acting aggressive or bizarre, they may have rabies and you could get it. Call 911 if you have a serious burn that is bleeding profusely or go to the emergency room if you can control the bleeding on your own but need to seek medical attention. You may need a tetanus shot if you haven't gotten one within the last five years. Facial lacerations are often treated cosmetically, with antibiotics given to prevent infection.

You can have a provoked or unprovoked animal bite. If you provoke an animal, it is less likely to have rabies but can bite viciously. Unprovoked bites might be secondary to rabies and you'll need treatment for that. It is especially true if the animal is a squirrel, raccoon or bat.

LEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125

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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here