A dog bite can bring significant changes to a person’s life, and recovery can be a long-term challenge for many people. What medical care might person need to heal from a bite?
What medical care might a person require after a dog bite?
The average dog bite claim was more than $50,000 in 2020 according to the Insurance Information Institute. Severe bites or injuries involving someone with more fragile health can be even more costly. The medical costs involved in these claims can include:
- Reconstructive surgery — Repairing the damage done by a dog bite can require reconstructive plastic surgery, and thousands of people undergo these procedures each year. Even with surgery, people may experience scarring that permanently changes their appearance.
- Antibiotics or care for infections — Around half of dog bites introduce a variety of bacteria into a wound, putting people at risk of infection. Even with wound care like antibiotic ointments, these bacteria could still put people at risk of an infection.
- Rabies vaccination — In addition to the other infections that can result from a dog bite, unvaccinated dogs can put people at risk of rabies infection. Care in these cases may also involve rabies vaccination.
- Care for fractures — Especially if a bite impacts fragile areas of the body like the hands, the force of that bite can break bones. These fractures often require proper care to heal properly.
- Mental health care — In addition to the physical damage that a dog bite can do, the resulting emotional damage can also require care. The stress of a dog bite can lead to long term struggles with mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Because of the extensive care that people may need to recover from their injuries, people who have experienced a dog bite should consider all of their legal options. Support may be available to address the cost of medical care and other challenges that a dog bite injury can cause.