Dog Attack Nerve Damage Lawyers, Lawsuits and Compensation
A dog attack is a frightening and traumatic experience. Unfortunately, despite their reputation as “man’s best friend,” any dog is capable of attacking or biting a human. There are numerous stories of individuals who have been hurt or killed by dogs they owned or with whom they were familiar and felt “comfortable.” In a dog attack, the dog will almost invariably use its teeth and jaws to inflict injury on its target. By doing so, the dog is not only able to puncture a human’s skin, but the dog can also tear muscles and damage nerves.
The Serious Effects of Nerve Damage
A person’s nervous system radiates throughout his or her body. The central nervous system is comprised of the brain, brain stem, and spinal cord that extends down a person’s back. The peripheral nervous system contains nerves that extend from the spinal cord to all other parts of the body. The nervous system accomplishes two very important functions:
- First, the nervous system delivers impulses from the brain to other parts of the body. The nervous system may do this automatically or through the person’s volition. These impulses control everything from muscle movement to the delivery of hormones.
- Second, the nervous system transmits information from the environment to the brain for processing. When you touch a hot stove, for example, nerves transmit information to your brain that tells you the stove is hot and that you should move your hand. When you injure a part of your body (for example, because of a dog bite), your nervous system alerts your brain that you are injured and need to attend to the affected body party.
When the nervous system is damaged, one or both of these functions can be temporarily or permanently impaired. This means you may not be able to move the affected limb unless and until the damaged nerve heals. Or you may find that you can no longer interact with your environment using your sense of touch as the nerves responsible for relaying information from the injured body part are damaged or destroyed.
Nerve damage can, therefore, impact your ability to participate in leisure activities, complete your job duties and responsibilities, maintain a home, and interact with others. Depending on the nerves impacted by the dog bite, nerve damage can also negatively affect your appearance (if, for example, you suffer a dog bite to your face) and your self-confidence.
Types of Nerve Damage from Dog Bites
Dog bites can result in one of three general types of nerve damage. These types include:
- Neurapraxia is an injury to the peripheral nervous system as the result of trauma or injury. It is considered to be the mildest type of nerve injury and results in the temporary blockage of nerve functioning without permanent damage or degradation of the nerve. As a result, most every individual recovers from neurapraxia, although the length of time it takes to recover can vary from a few hours to several months.
- Axonotmesis is an injury in which the affected nerve is stretched but not severed. As a result, paralysis is often observed in the body party affected by axonotmesis. For example, if a dog biting and pulling at the victim’s hand stretches the nerves running to the hand, the victim may not be able to use his or her fingers or hand muscles unless and until the nerves are repaired. Recovery is possible, but it can take several years in some cases before a person fully recovers.
- Neurotmesis occurs when the nerve is completely disrupted and there is a corresponding loss of functioning in the affected limb or body part. Because the nerve has become disconnected, the victim’s prognosis is poor. Surgical intervention may be available in some cases, but even here the likelihood that the victim will make a full recovery and regain full functioning is slim.
In general, a person’s ability to recover from the damaging effects of a dog bite (including nerve damage that may have been inflicted) improves if the person is able to obtain medical attention promptly. For this reason, dog bite victims – especially those who report that they cannot feel the part of their body that was bitten – should be seen promptly by a doctor or other qualified medical professional.
The Financial Cost of Nerve Damage
Imagine not being able to work for weeks, months, years – or ever again. Consider the cost of repeated hospital visits, prescription drug costs, surgeries, and therapy sessions. What monetary value would you put on not being able to drive, hold your spouse, child, or grandchild, or play the games that you enjoyed playing before your dog bite? Nerve damage can be quite costly both in terms of its direct financial costs as well as in terms of the effects it has on your quality of life.
Stern Law, PLLC is committed to helping you recover necessary compensation following a dog bite resulting in nerve damage. Call Ken Stern and Stern Law, PLLC at (844) 808-7529 to learn how he can assist you in obtaining compensation from the vicious dog’s owner.