Although dogs are often called man’s best friend, they can be unpredictable and attack when least expected. Along with the personal injury threat of dog bites come the long-term psychological consequences of such trauma. In New Hampshire and elsewhere, it is crucial to find out whether a dog’s rabies shots are current as soon as possible after a bite. Dog bites can cause nerve or muscle damage, and bacteria in a dog’s mouth can cause infections, illnesses or even death.
Rabies is the most significant threat, and although it is rare, the risk remains. It is a virus that attacks the victim’s brain, and most cases are fatal if the necessary series of vaccinations are not administered timely. Some of the bacteria that dogs typically carry affect only people with compromised immune systems. One such a threat is Capnocytophaga, which can spread through scratches or bites.
Pasteurella is another bacteria that could cause red and painful infections and swollen glands and joints that could affect mobility. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can cause lung, skin and urinary tract infections in bite victims, and as the name indicates, it is a staph infection with resistance to certain antibiotics. Deep bite wounds that are infected with the Clostridium tetani bacteria can cause tetanus, which is a toxin that causes rigid paralysis in victims.
Those people who has to deal with the consequences of a dog bite might have questions about their legal rights to seek a judgment of monetary damages. New Hampshire law is considered protective of the rights of dog bite victims. An experienced personal injury attorney can help victims of such attacks pursue claims for recovery of economic and noneconomic damages.