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What to Do If You Have Nerve Damage from a Dog Bite

Posted on November 25th, 2022

Even a small dog bite has the potential to inflict nerve damage. Nerves are clusters of cells that transmit signals to and from different parts of the body. When the nerves are damaged by a traumatic event like a dog bite, you can suffer from weakness, numbness, intense pain, or even paralysis.

If you have nerve damage from a dog bite, it is critical to seek medical attention right away to reduce the impact of the injury and avoid additional complications, like infections. Once you receive treatment, contact a Washington dog bite attorney to discuss your legal options and initiate a lawsuit against the animal’s owner.

Symptoms of Nerve Damage from a Dog Bite

Dogs have very strong jaws and sharp teeth. When their bites break the skin, you can suffer serious damage to the muscles and nerves below the surface. While some of these injuries heal on their own, others can leave lasting damage that can only improve with specialized medical treatment, like therapy and surgical intervention. 

If you experience any of the following symptoms after a dog attack, you may have suffered injuries to your nerves:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness in the hands or feet
  • Lack of coordination in the hands or feet
  • Sharp pain in the hands, arms, legs, or feet
  • A burning sensation in the extremities
  • Loss of strength in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
  • Tingling in the hands and feet

Legal Options for Washington Dog Bite Victims

Nerve damage can have a major impact on your well-being. You can lose function in your extremities and may require extensive medical treatment. You could suffer from financial hardship due to these medical expenses as well as lost wages during your treatment and recovery time. The trauma of the dog attack can have emotional consequences too, which can last for the rest of your life.

If you were bitten by a dog in Washington, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the animal’s owner. Washington is a strict liability state for dog bites, meaning that you are eligible for litigation even if the dog does not have a history of aggression. By pursuing litigation, you can recover compensation for damages such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages and future earnings
  • Property damage
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Permanent disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Depression and anxiety

What to Do After a Dog Attack in Washington State

After a dog attack, it is critical to get to a safe place as soon as possible away from the dog. Call 911 and report the incident to the proper authorities. If you can, take photographs of the animal, the area around the attack, and any visible injuries. If you do not know the animal’s owner, try to identify him or her.

Seek medical care immediately to minimize the impact of the nerve damage and avoid potentially life-threatening infections that can be passed through the animal’s saliva. Performing first aid after the attack can also reduce the risk of infections. Wash the wound with soap and warm water, apply antibiotic ointment, and wrap it in clean bandages.

Once you have received treatment for your injuries, contact a Washington dog bite lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney will evaluate your case and help you take your first steps toward financial recovery.