As the weather starts to warm up there are going to be more and more dogs out for a walk with their owners. It can be incredibly tempting to stop and “chat” with these dogs as you go about your daily walk, but it can also put you in a situation where you might experience a New Haven dog bite injury. On first blush you might not consider a dog bite all that dangerous or severe, but in many ways a dog bite can be very serious and cause long lasting damage. It is not something you should take lightly because you might find yourself in the ER after what you would consider a normal interaction with a dog.
A good rule of thumb when deciding whether or not to interact with a dog, especially a dog that is not familiar to you, is to wait for permission from the dog’s owner. Once the dog’s owner has given you the green light to approach the animal go ahead and approach, but do it gently and in plain sight of the dog. Do not ever approach the dog from behind. While getting permission from the owner and approaching with care are good steps to protect yourself, animals are unpredictable and no amount of care can completely remove the possibility of getting injured from your interaction with the dog. If you are injured after an interaction with a dog you may experience one or more of these injuries.
- Abrasions. This type of injury is one that most certainly would feel not too severe at the time. When you get scratched or scraped on the surface of your skin it can be painful, but it is not generally considered serious. However, an animal may have bacteria under the claws and this bacteria can get under your skin and cause real serious damage. If you do get an abrasion from a dog, you will want to seek medical attention immediately to make sure the scrape is cleaned out and free of any bacteria.
- Face injuries. Some face injuries can be very serious, but most wouldn’t consider a scratch on your face too serious, but it certainly can be. At the time you get scratched you may not realize it but the dog may have also scratched your eye or ear and caused long-term damage to either part of your face. This is why you should see a medical provider immediately to confirm that the scratch is not creating a bigger problem for you.
- Lacerations. This is a more severe injury than an abrasion because by definition it has broken the skin and caused a deeper wound and therefore it presents similar, but more serious dangers to your overall health as an abrasion. This time though, bacteria from the outside world and not just the dog’s paw is something that could get into the laceration if it is not taken care of immediately. Seek medical attention before writing it off as a minor injury
It can be tempting to interact with a dog and write off any injury as just the dog having some fun and not take it seriously, but this will be done to your own detriment. If you are injured after playing with a dog you should be seen by a medical professional who can thoroughly examine your New Haven dog bite injury. If your medical provider determines that there is something more serious there then just a scratch or a cut, you will want to have the injury bandaged and documented in the event that you would need to speak with an attorney about your injury.
If a dog bite injury does rise to the level of speaking with an attorney, you can contact our office and one of our experienced attorneys will speak with you about your injury. We will review the details of your case and work with you to protect your long-term interests.