Dog attacks are traumatic and cause physical, emotional, and financial hardships. Injuries can be severe, some requiring surgery, months of recovery, and therapy. Dog bite victims may lose money from being unable to work and deal with expensive medical bills. The good news is that depending on the specifics of your injury, you may be entitled to compensation to help cover those expenses.
What Is a Puncture Wound From a Dog Attack?
A puncture wound from a dog bite is an injury where the dog’s teeth penetrate the skin, creating a small, deep hole or opening. Dogs bite down with a significant amount of force that allows their sharp teeth to pierce through the outer layers of the skin. If the bite is severe, it can reach deeper tissues. Wound severity depends on the dog’s size, bite strength, and attack force. Even minor entry points can hide surprisingly deep wounds.
Puncture wounds from dog bites can be particularly concerning because the small entry point can seal off quickly, trapping bacteria and other contaminants inside the wound. Trapped bacteria increase the risk of infection and can prevent the injury from healing. Additionally, dog bites can cause damage to underlying tissues, nerves, or blood vessels, which may require further evaluation and treatment by a healthcare professional.
How Do You Treat a Dog Bite Puncture Wound?
Initial treatment focuses on evaluating the extent of the wound, alleviating pain, and cleaning the wound to reduce the chance of infection.
After a dog bite, the most significant long-term concern is preventing infection. The chance of infection depends on where on your body you were bitten, the severity of the bite, and your general health. Many animal bites are not closed with stitches because this can increase the chance of infection from a puncture wound. Instead, the doctor will likely provide instructions on cleaning, treating, and possibly covering your wound with a disposable dressing. If the injury is severe, the physician may arrange appointments for a wound care center to change your dressings or for a nurse to come to your home to change them.
Depending on how bad the wound is, your bite may take as little as seven days or as long as several months to heal. Keeping your wound clean and following the doctor’s orders will help it heal quickly and reduce your chance of infection from a puncture wound.
Children are most likely to sustain severe, sometimes life-threatening, injuries, and emotional trauma can prompt a lifelong fear of animals. Scarring and disfigurement can complicate social connections, impair their ability to reach typical developmental milestones, and significantly decrease the victim’s quality of life. Treating the physical and emotional injuries will help an injured child return to as much normalcy as possible.
How Long Will It Take For a Dog Bite Puncture Wound to Heal?
Like all wounds, there are four dog bite puncture wound healing stages: Inflammation, Debridement, Repair, and Maturation.
Inflammation-In the first puncture wound healing stage, the body starts to control bleeding and activate the immune system. Blood clots form to limit blood loss, and immune cells come in to fight bacteria and clean up dead tissue.
Debridement- This second dog bite puncture wound begins a few hours later and is the body’s attempt to clean the wound and prevent infection. Pus forms as wound fluid, dead tissue, and immune cells work together to carry debris away from the site.
Repair-The third phase begins as early as a few days after the injury. Collagen fills the wound and begins reconnecting torn tissues over several weeks. New blood vessels grow into the area, and moist pink tissue called “granulation tissue” forms to eventually fill in the wound. The wound also contracts to shrink, allowing new skin to cover it.
Maturation-The final puncture wound healing stage begins about 2-3 weeks after repair and can last months or even years. As it heals, the scar strengthens as new blood vessels and nerves grow, and the tissue reorganizes to close the wound.
What Legal Recourse Do I Have After a Dog Bite Puncture Wound?
If you or a family member were bitten by a dog and suffered a puncture wound, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the dog owner’s insurance to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and even pain and suffering. It’s essential to gather evidence of the incident, such as photos of the wound, medical records, and witness statements, to support your claim. Unfortunately, dealing with Maryland’s complex legal process after a dog attack can make things even harder.
When pursuing legal recourse, your best option is to consult an experienced dog bite attorney who can guide you through the process and help you understand your rights. They can assist you in building a solid case, negotiating with insurance companies, and advocating on your behalf to seek fair compensation for your injuries. Remember that each case is unique, so it’s essential to seek out an experienced dog bite puncture wound attorney to ensure you receive the appropriate compensation for your injury.
Contact a Maryland Dog Bite Puncture Wound Attorney
If you’re suffering from a dog bite puncture wound in Maryland, the Zirkin & Schmerling legal team is ready to fight on your behalf to ensure you recover fair compensation. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident and your losses, you may be able to recover compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of future earnings, and more.
You can get started with your case today by calling our 24/7 consultation line at 410-753-4611 or schedule a free case consultation online here.