Dog bites, no matter how minor, can be dangerous for people suffering from diabetes since it can affect your ability to fight infections and heal. If you have diabetes and were bitten by a dog, it is important to seek medical help for your injury and contact a personal injury attorney to understand your rights.
Dog Bite Risks for Those With Diabetes
If you were bit by a dog, you should seek medical attention immediately, even if the bite does not appear severe. Dogs carry many strains of bacteria in their mouths and when a dog bites a person and penetrates the skin, the bacteria can enter the person’s body and cause an infection.
For those who have diabetes, you will need to watch for signs of infection from the bite. People with diabetes are at an increased risk of infection due to poor circulation and a weakened immune system that causes them to not be able to fight off the infection.
Some people with diabetes have conditions such as diabetic neuropathy or nerve damage which causes a loss of sensation in the hands or feet. This loss of sensation can affect a person’s ability to feel a dog bite until the injury is visible.
For those who have diabetes, you will need to watch closely for signs of infection from the bite. Some signs of an infection to be aware of are:
- Redness or red streaks
- Drainage from the bite wound
Infections from a dog bite can turn life-threatening if not treated immediately. Having diabetes can cause wounds such as dog bites not to heal properly or not to heal at all. When wounds do not heal, they are more likely to become infected. Many infections can be treated with antibiotics, while others may require hospitalization. If an infection spreads to surrounding tissue or bone, or if the dog bite tears muscles or tendons so that a limb cannot be reattached properly, amputation may be necessary.
In addition to being at risk for an infection, people with diabetes may have to watch their blood sugar levels. The stress of the injury can cause blood sugar levels to become unstable. This can put people with diabetes at risk for hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, or diabetic shock. It is important to continue taking your diabetes medication and monitoring your blood sugar regularly, even while you are recovering from the dog bite.
The following are signs of a diabetic emergency and require immediate medical attention:
- Sudden loss of weight
- Fever over 101 degrees
- You are unable to eat normally or keep food down
- You are experiencing chest pains or have difficulty breathing
- You feel sleepy or lethargic
- You are unable to think clearly
- There is a moderate to high amount of ketones in your urine
- Your blood glucose is lower than 60 mg/dL or higher than 300 mg/dL
Possible Legal Action and Recovery
Not only should you seek medical attention for your dog bite injury, but there are other things to do as well that can protect your case. These include:
- Gather evidence such as the name and contact information of the dog owner and any witnesses
- File a police report and secure a copy of the report
- Contact a personal injury attorney
Consulting with an attorney is important after a dog bite for many reasons. An attorney can determine if you have a case and who to hold liable. They can also calculate the value of your claim and help you get the full amount of compensation you deserve. Damages that you may be compensated for after a dog bite may include:
- Medical treatment for the dog bite and any complications with diabetes that are associated with the bite
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of income and earnings
In order to receive compensation for your injuries, you must be able to prove another party was negligent. In most dog bite cases, the owner of the dog will be held liable and be responsible for paying for your damages.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one were bitten by a dog and have questions about your legal rights, contact our experienced lawyers at Hupy and Abraham for a free consultation. To set up a confidential appointment in any of our 11 Midwest law offices located throughout Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois, you can fill out our convenient contact form online or call us at 1-800-800-5678.