Nerve Damage from a Dog Bite
A dog bite can inflict serious and possibly life-changing injuries such as nerve damage. This kind of injury can cause temporary or permanent loss of movement and feeling in the affected body parts or areas. As a result, victims may be unable to return to daily activities or work for some time.
Types of Nerve Damage Caused by a Dog Bite
Dogs have strong jaws and a powerful bite force capable of ripping through deep tissue and damaging nerves and muscles as well as the flesh. As a result, nerve damage is somewhat common after a dog bite injury. Some common types of dog bite nerve damage injuries include:
- Neurotmesis: This is the most severe type of nerve injury because there is a complete transection of a peripheral nerve. In other words, the damage done is permanent. However, some people may see some improvement over time with rehabilitation.
- Axonotmesis: When a dog bite stretches the nerve, damaging the connectivity between the nerve endings and the surrounding tissue. This type of injury is serious but not as severe as neurotmesis and usually heals with time.
- Neurapraxia. The mildest form of nerve damage seen after a dog bite. However, the compression caused to the nerve can still lead to temporary motor and sensory loss. This type of injury often takes a few months to heal.
Victims with nerve damage from a dog bite often experience weakness, intense pain, numbness, and partial or total paralysis of the impacted area. Treatment may involve physical therapy, pain medications, and possibly surgical repair.
Signs of Nerve Damage after a Dog Bite
Signs of nerve damage may include:
- Fasciculation (twitching)
- Muscle atrophy (muscle wasting)
- Difficulties with positional awareness
Symptoms can vary based on the type of nerve damage. For example, motor nerves pass information from the spinal cord to the brain to the muscles to control movement. In contrast, sensory nerves pass information from the muscles and skin to the brain and spinal cord to control sensation.
Rights of Dog Bite Victims in Georgia
In Georgia, dog bite victims have the right to pursue compensation for nerve damage. However, the dog’s owner must have been aware of previous attacks or dangerous behavior or failure to properly secure their dog according to leash and restraint laws. As a result, it is critical to speak to an Atlanta Dog Bite Lawyer to ensure you recover the compensation you deserve. They will handle all aspects of your claim, including investigating to determine if the owner can be held liable, gathering critical evidence in support of your claim, filing the paperwork, and all communication with the insurance company.
Insurance adjusters can seem friendly, but they are not on your side. A dog bite attorney will advocate for you in negotiations to reach a settlement that completely covers your losses and pays for any future treatment you may need while your nerve damage heals. They will also prepare your case for trial and represent you in court if necessary. After a dog bite, you must act quickly. Under state law, claims must be filed within two years.