Strong Advocates
For the Injured And For A Safer Iowa

What Happens When a Cat Bites You? | Galligan law

On Behalf of | Jun 25, 2019 | Personal Injury |

What Happens When a Cat Bites You?

While most people associate animal bites with dogs, felines are actually common culprits as well. Animal attacks can have devastating consequences, even if a common house pet, like a cat, causes them. If a cat has bitten you, you may have legal grounds to pursue a personal injury case, even for cat bites.

Why Are Cat Bites Dangerous?

Cat bites are more dangerous than many people think. Feline bites may be more likely to become infected than some other types of injuries, including dog bites. One notable feature of cat teeth is that they are curved in such a way that they can sink deep into the skin, ultimately transmitting bacteria deeper into the body.

Also notable is the fact that cat teeth are so narrow that they create puncture wounds, so the bites scab over quickly. In most cases, scabbing is a sign of healing. In the case of cat bites, it could mean that bacteria are trapped inside the wound, leading to infection. Some signs of infection are redness, pain, and swelling at the bite wound. 

Without treatment, an infection caused by a cat bite can spread throughout the body. In some cases, the infection can be deadly. Without medical treatment, home solutions may not properly clean the wound. It is advised that serious bite wounds are treated at a doctor’s office or emergency room.

What Are Iowa’s Animal Bite Laws?

Iowa has its own laws pertaining to animal bites. Pet owners have a responsibility to keep their pets safe, but they also have a duty to keep other people safe from their pets. While the law is most often applied to dogs, Iowa codes indicate that all animals are subject to the state’s laws.

Iowa law pertaining to cats and other pets involves the animal biting, attempting to bite, or otherwise attacking a person. The legal use of the word ‘attacking’ may even apply to a cat scratch.

What Evidence Can You Use in a Cat Bite Case?

If a cat bit you, the initial phase of gathering evidence begins immediately afterward. First, take photos of your injuries. If you have a video of the attack, you have even more clear evidence of the specific animal that attacked you.

Evidence also exists in the form of medical bills. Medical bills demonstrate the financial toll the injuries have had on your life, and medical reports indicate that you may have had to take time off work and that you’ve undergone physical and emotional trauma.

What Should You Do About Cat Bite Injuries?

The first thing you should do after a cat bite injury is go to the doctor’s office. With quick treatment, you may prevent infection altogether. In the case that you experience an infection, you will have the evidence necessary to pursue a legal claim against the cat’s owner or a property owner. You should also quickly wash your wound with soap and water to prevent additional bacteria from entering your body.

Next, consult with a personal injury attorney. Attorneys understand Iowa’s personal injury laws and ensure you do not have to live with the financial devastation caused by injuries like animal bites. Act quickly because Iowa has a statute of limitations of two years.

Your legal case may involve suing for emotional distress in addition to physical injuries and medical bills. It also may be necessary to purchase medications like oral antibiotics. You may have PTSD or another emotional condition brought on by the attack. Your injuries could also take an emotional toll on you, especially if you have been unable to care for your child while recovering from your injuries. Personal injury claims take into account all hardships endured by the injured person and sometimes their family.

Galligan Law offers personal injury legal assistance for Iowans who have been injured. No matter what kind of pet you have been injured by, you need to speak with an attorney about your case and get help in filing a lawsuit. Personal injury attorneys help you find the evidence needed to bring your case to court. Call us today to initiate the legal process.