Cat Bites in Illinois Can Cause Catastrophic Injuries
Although cats are notorious for not being as friendly as dogs, people often do not take the idea of cat bites as seriously as they take dog bites. Because cats are usually so much smaller than people and their bites are rarely as superficially damaging as dog bites, people may be surprised to learn just how dangerous cat bite injuries can be.
The Illinois Animal Contract Act provides that a guest in someone else’s home who is bitten or scratched unprovoked by a cat may be able to recover damages from the cat’s owner for their injuries. As long as the guest was conducting themselves peacefully and had a legal right to be on the premises, the cat’s owner may be held responsible for a bite.
One in Three Cat Bites Requires Hospitalization
Even the most friendly cats can suddenly bite or scratch someone. Cat teeth and claws are extremely sharp and they can hurt someone who is only trying to play with the cat. However, even injuries sustained during play can be serious.
When cats bite, their sharp teeth allow for deep penetration into human tissue bone, allowing bacteria in a cat’s mouth easy access to joints and tendon sheaths. Here, bacteria can spread and grow relatively protected from the body’s immune system. One type of bacteria in particular is common in cats’ mouths and can be very difficult to treat with antibiotics. One study found that victims who were bitten directly on the wrist or hand joint had a higher risk of hospitalization.
Medical Treatment for Cat Bites Can Be Extensive and Costly
Cat saliva contains harmful bacteria that can lead to infections that are so serious that one in three cat bite victims are hospitalized. Two-thirds of those who were hospitalized from cat bites needed surgery. Some common treatments for cat bites include:
An average of three days in the hospital
Repeated rounds of aggressive antibiotics after outpatient antibiotic treatments fail
Surgical irrigation of the bite wound
Debridement, or removal of infected tissue
Repeated surgeries, including reconstructive surgery
Amputation of infected extremities like fingers
The cost of these treatments can be very costly and victims can lose wages because they are unable to work. Victims may be able to recover the cost of treatment, lost wages, and the pain and suffering they experienced because of a cat bite.
Speak to an Elmhurst, IL Cat Bite Injury Lawyer
If you have been seriously injured by a cat bite or scratch, you may be able to recover damages for your suffering and medical expenses. At Schwartz Injury Law, we help our clients stand up for their rights and pursue justice so they can get the care they need. To find out more about whether we may be able to help you, schedule a free consultation with one of our DuPage County cat bite injury attorneys today. Call our offices at 708-226-9000.