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What to Do if You Have Nerve Damage from a Dog Bite

Colburn Law

With strong jaws and sharp teeth, dogs have the ability to inflict serious injuries. Dog bites can result in broken bones, infections, and deep lacerations. In serious cases, victims of dog attacks develop temporary or permanent nerve damage.

While treatment is available for these injuries, nerve damage from a dog bite can have a significant impact on your life. If you were attacked by a dog in Washington, you have the right to pursue legal action against the owner and recover compensation for your injuries. Contact our Seattle dog bite lawyers today for a free case evaluation.

Dog Bites & Nerve Damage

Types of Nerve Damage Caused by a Dog Bite

Nerve damage is one of the most common injuries in dog attacks. Dogs have sharp, long teeth that can penetrate the skin and sever the nerves, leading to a loss of feeling and function in the injury site. There are three types of nerve damage associated with dog bites.


A protective covering called a myelin sheath surrounds each nerve in the body, protecting the nerve and helping transmit electrical signals. Neurapraxia occurs when a nerve is stretched, and the myelin sheath is damaged. Symptoms of this condition include numbness, burning, or stinging.

You may require physical therapy, rest, icing, and other forms of mild treatment. A temporary nerve injury, neurapraxia victims usually make a full recovery within a few months, but loss of function is common.


Axonotmesis is a nerve injury that occurs to the myelin sheath and the axons surrounding the nerve. Axons carry nerve impulses away from cells and are crucial for helping nerves communicate. This injury typically occurs when the nerve is stretched.

Symptoms of axonotmesis include sensory problems, loss of function, pain, and paralysis. Most patients make a full recovery from this condition, but treatment could take several months of years.


Neurotmesis is a very severe nerve injury that occurs when the axons and the myelin sheath are severed. Symptoms of this condition include pain and loss of function and feeling. Unlike other types of nerve injuries, neurotmesis is permanent and very few patients make a full recovery.

What to Do After a Dog Attack in Washington

If you were bitten by a dog in Washington, you have the right to hold the animal’s owner accountable for your injuries. By filing a dog bite lawsuit, you can recover compensation for the losses related to the attack, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Washington is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. This means that you can file a dog bite lawsuit against an owner regardless of negligence. If you were injured while you were on public property or lawfully on private property, you have the right to pursue legal action.

Proving a dog bite lawsuit can be a challenge. The owner could claim that you were trespassing or provoked the dog. To protect your future case, take the following steps after the attack.

  • Call 911 and report the incident to law enforcement.
  • Seek medical attention immediately and save all records related to your accident.
  • Photograph your injuries, the area where the attack happened, the animal, and any other important evidence around the scene.
  • Collect contact information from witnesses in the area.
  • Identify the dog’s owner, if possible, and briefly exchange information.

After you seek treatment, contact a dog bite lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can represent your claim and fight for your right to maximum compensation.

Additional Dog Bite Information