Dog Bite Attorneys
4.5 to 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Dog ownership and responsibility produces many wonderful benefits such as loyal companionship, a loving family dynamic, and emotional satisfaction. Some pet owners, however, are not as responsible as they should be when it comes to the animals in their care and that can lead to tragic outcomes.
If there is a lack of owner responsibility and dogs are not socialized properly, rewarded through frequent and positive engagements, or are left in prolonged isolation; the results are often a violent confrontation between the animal and people that it encounters.
Dog Bite Lawsuits and Owner Liability
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has reported that the average cost of a dog bite-related hospital stay was $18,200 in 2010, about 50% higher than other injury-related hospital stays. The purpose of any lawsuit is to determine who is responsible for damages such as medical costs, and more, and a dog bite lawsuit is no different.
The owner of a dog is ultimately responsible for any dog they own that attacks or injures a person, whether or not the owner knew the dog was dangerous and even if it never displayed aggressive behavior before.
Though there are breeds of dogs that have been known to be more aggressive by nature (Pit Bull Terriers, Rottweilers, Wolf-Dog Mixes, etc.), a dog bite attack can occur with any dog, of any breed, at any time.
Injuries from dog bite attacks include (but are not limited to):
- Injuries to children
- Serious personal injury
- Facial scarring
- Psychological injuries
- Head trauma
- Wrongful death
Dog bite attacks can be brutal and traumatizing, leading physical and emotional scars that can last a victim’s entire life.
Legal Information for Dog Bite Victims
The CDC’s WISQARS™ (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System) states that in 2015, the sum of emergency department visits attributed to nonfatal dog bites was almost 348,000 victims.
Of these attacks, children aged 5 – 9 were the ones bitten most frequently by dogs and were nearly 50% of all the dog bite attacks reported, with the rate of injury highest amongst boys.
A bite from any dog, no matter the severity, has the potential to carry serious diseases that can be transmitted to a victim when the skin is cut or torn during an attack.
Bacteria that commonly dwell in canine saliva can produce serious infections as well as the potential for viruses that can spread life-threatening diseases like rabies.
Not every dog carries a disease, but the victims of dog bites are urged to act fast in order to receive medical treatment to determine if an illness or disease is present but also to document the victim’s injuries and care.
The medical reports attained from the healthcare professionals assessing your wounds are instrumental in a dog bite lawsuit.
If you or a loved one is attacked by a dog, here are some important steps to consider:
- Get to safety and away from the assailing dog.
- Seek medical attention immediately
- Obtain contact information for the dog’s owner and anyone else who witnessed the attack
- File a police report and request a copy
- Take pictures of the dog, the location of the attack, and your injuries if possible.
- Do not sign any paperwork before contacting an attorney
- Do not communicate with the owner’s insurance carrier before contacting an attorney