Every year, more than 5 million people are attacked by animals nationally, with most of those being dog bites. The severity of those bites range from minor cuts or abrasions, to extremely violent and vicious attacks that are serious enough to require hospitalization, rehabilitation and years of physical therapy. In a few cases, they can also result in the death of the victim.
In Bexar County, according to Animal Care Services (ACS) figures, the number of dog bite cases has been increasing sharply in recent years. ACS officials suggest that the increase is due to better reporting, based on greater awareness on the part of doctors, school officials and others. But the numbers are alarming nonetheless. In fiscal year 2010, there were 2,800 reports of people being bitten, mostly by dogs. But by fiscal year 2012, that number climbed to nearly 3,400. If the rate of bites continues this fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30, 2013, the County could see more than 3,700 dog bites. With two months to go, the numbers have already topped 3,100.
Whatever the reason, the San Antonio region is earning a horrible reputation for dog bites. Just this past May, the U.S. Postal Service ranked San Antonio and Seattle in a tie for second when it comes to dog bite attacks on its workers. An examination of the injuries caused by dog bites in the area of the county where most occur, showed that while many are small nips that require a couple of stitches at most, a large number of cases required urgent care and emergency room visits.
Dog bites can be very traumatic and painful, but the hurt doesn’t always end with the simple healing of the initial wound. Dog bites often require hospitalization. One common complication suffered by dog bite victims who are hospitalized is infection with a strain of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. This strain of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria has become resistant to most common antibiotics, which makes it difficult to treat. A number of other bacteria are often present in a dog bite, and can sometimes be found very deep in the joints and tendon spaces.
If you have tried to avoid an attack by a dog, but find yourself a victim anyway, you should seek medical help immediately. Then contact the experienced Dog Bite Injury Lawyers at Hill Law Firm today, to see how you can recover your medical costs and protect your legal rights.