How Often Do Dog Attacks Occur?

According to national statistics, there are more than 4 million people who are bitten by a dog each year. Almost one million of those victims need to seek medical treatment because of the severity of the bite they receive. Approximately 20 percent of dog bite victims develop some type of infection from the bite, and 30,000 victims need reconstructive surgery.

At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, we have successfully represented many dog bite victims who suffered damages from the injuries they sustained. Our dog bite attorneys understand the trauma and complications that can develop from a dog bite and will use all available resources to get victims the compensation they deserve. Contact our office to speak with a member of our legal team to find out how we can help.


One of the most common – and potentially dangerous – complications of a dog bite injury is developing an infection. If the infection is caught quickly, the victim can be prescribed antibiotics which should clear it up. In some cases, the victim may need to be hospitalized and receive intravenous antibiotics.

Knowing what symptoms to watch for can ensure that the infection will not spread and cause serious medical complications. There are certain infections that are caused by dog bites that can be fatal if they are left untreated. Examples are sepsis and acute osteomyelitis, which begins in the joints or bones of the victim and can quickly spread if not treated.

If a victim develops any of the following symptoms, they should seek medical attention immediately:

  • A loss of sensation in the body part that was bitten
  • Discharge from the bite wound
  • Excessive swelling around the area of the bite.
  • Extreme pain around the area of the bite. Persistent pain is also another sign something could be wrong.
  • Fever
  • Limited mobility of the part of the body that was bitten
  • Night sweats
  • Red streaking around the bite area
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Dog bite victims can also suffer disfigurement or scarring from the attack. If the skin is badly damaged following the attack, this complication will be evident. But there are a lot of dog bite cases where the permanent damage is not known until after the bite wound has healed. Depending on the extent of the disfigurement or scarring, victims often need to undergo reconstructive surgery.

Not only do victims suffer the painful effects of the bite and the surgery, but they also often suffer from the psychological effects caused by the damage the bite has left. This may be especially traumatic when the damage was to the face or other visible part of the body.

Contact a North Carolina Personal Injury Attorney

In North Carolina, all dog owners have a legal responsibility to protect the general public from injuries caused by their pets. If an animal is overly aggressive, has a history of biting, is skittish, or exhibits other behavioral issues, it is up to the owner to make sure the animal is not allowed to run loose. Failure to do so could leave the pet owner liable for any damages a victim sustains because of the bite.

If you or a family member have sustained injuries from a dog attack, contact a North Carolina 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.