Dangerous Medical Risks from Dog Bites | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

According to national statistics, almost 40 percent of households in this country have own at least one dog. Studies have shown many benefits to owning a dog, including decreasing stress, increasing exercise for owners, and being great companions for children.

Although dogs are great family members, they also will protect their families and defend themselves if they feel threatened. In these situations, their behavior can be unpredictable and many times, a dog bite victim had no idea the animal felt threatened until it was too late.

Dogs protect and defend with their teeth. The jaws of a dog – even a smaller size one – are powerful and can cause major damage to anyone on the receiving end of a bite. Not only can a dog’s teeth do serious harm when they bite, but there are all different kinds of bacteria in their mouth that put the victim at risk of developing a serious infection. Anyone who has been bitten by a dog should seek medical attention immediately.




At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, our personal injury attorneys have successfully represented many dog bite victims in obtaining the financial compensation they deserved for the losses these injuries caused them. Some of the most common types of damage we have seen in these claims include the following:

  • Fractured bones
  • Muscle damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Skin damage

In addition to the obvious physical damage a dog bite can do, which sometimes require plastic surgery and/or skin grafts, there is also a high risk of developing an infection after being bitten. This is because out of the more than 60 different types of bacteria that have been found in dogs’ mouths, some of those present can be dangerous to humans. Infections that can develop include:

  • Capnocytophaga
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  • Pasteurella
  • Rabies
  • Tetanus

Signs of a possible infection are:

  • Chills
  • Discharge coming from the bite wound
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Loss of sensation near the bite wound
  • Muscle weakness
  • Red streaks around the bite wound
  • Redness near the bite wound
  • Tenderness near the bite wound

Severe dog bites can result in the permanent disfigurement or scarring of the victim, particularly if the bite was to the face. Dog bites can also leave a victim with permanently damaged bones, nerves, tissues, and tendons. This damage can limit the victim’s mobility, making it difficult or impossible to participate in activities they did before the attack.

There are also emotional injuries that a dog victim can suffer, including mental anguish over their permanent damage of the bite and the emotional trauma of the attack itself. A victim may be left suffering from anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Contact a Virginia Dog Bite Attorney for Assistance

If you or a family member have sustained injuries from a dog, contact Virginia personal injury attorney to find out what legal options you may have. Not only may you be entitled to medical expenses and loss of income, but you may also be entitled to financial compensation for pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and the scarring or disfigurement your injuries have left.

The legal team from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have been advocating for injured clients since 1985 and will do all we can to ensure you receive the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case. If you would like to meet with one of our skilled Virginia dog bite attorneys to find out how we can help, call us today at (833) 997-1774 for a free case evaluation.