Recent studies suggest that over a million Americans get bitten by a dog every year. Also, more than 20% of those victims will need medical attention to treat their injuries. These victims can seek help from a dog bite injury lawyer, he will be responsible to defend the victim’s rights and to get compensation for their injuries.
You may be asking yourself, is it really necessary to hire an attorney? By reading this you will know the answer to this and other questions.
Injuries Related to Dog Bites.
All dog bites have the potential to be dangerous, you must not take them lightly. Just in 2015, close to 35 people died from dog bites in the US. A serious dog bite can cause deep tissue scars and muscle damage; these injuries often need surgery.
Children are more affected by dog bites, they are harmed both physically and psychologically. Often, when children are victims of a dog bite, they will suffer from emotional trauma.
The most common injuries caused by dog bites are:
- Crush injuries.
- Tissue loss and avulsion.
Infections can be very dangerous, especially is the victim is not vaccinated. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 person is infected every 5 dog bites accidents. The most common dog transmitted infections are:
- Rabies: Transmitted from the dog’s saliva to your blood through the bite. It is a dangerous infection that affects the brain, with deadly consequences.
- MRSA: As the animal doesn’t show symptoms, is very difficult to spot the infection. This is deadly bacteria, with a high kill rate. Sadly, it is resistant to different antibiotics.
- Capnocytophaga: A common bacteria strain that lives inside the dog’s mount. The victim can easily get infected, especially if he/she has problems with his/her immune system.
- Tetanus: Usually is not serious, unless the victim is not vaccinated. It can cause paralysis in the infected person.
- Pasteurella: Almost all dogs have this bacteria, it causes redness, swelling, and pain.
Apart from the physical harm, dog bites are accompanied by psychological injuries like:
- Low-level PTSD.
- Anxiety around dogs.
Like happens with all traumatic accidents, the physical pain usually goes away in a couple of weeks, but the psychological wounds can last for a lifetime. Sometimes, the victim has to go to a psychologist to overcome the emotional trauma.
What to Do After a Dog Bite Accident.
As the dog’s saliva is trimming with bacteria, the wound must be clean as fast as possible to prevent infections. By following these guidelines, you can prevent the injury from getting worse:
1. If the bite doesn’t cause deep cuts, let the wound bleed a little. The body will naturally dispose of the bacteria.
2. You must wash all cuts and with antibacterial soap. Then clean it with plenty of water for at least 5 minutes.
3. Put some antibiotic ointment on the wound.
4. Dry the affected zone and cover it with sterile gauze. If you don’t have one, use a paper towel.
5. For extended lacerations, you can use hydrogen peroxide, apply it in the wound and surroundings areas, then cover it
6. Set up a doctor's appointment, for serious dog bites is paramount to get immediate medical help.
7. After your wound is treated, you should get in contact with an experienced dog bite attorneys.
8. Report the accident to the authorities.
9. Get the contact information of the dog owner and any eye witness.
10. If possible, take photos.
Is Necessary to Report All Dog Bites?
Every 75 seconds a person is bitten by a dog, this is a very common accident and like all accidents, you must report it. It doesn’t matter if you are a friend of the owner, the authorities require all accidents to be reported. Some of the reason to report such an accident are:
- It will come in handy if you decide to sue the owner, as you can have the dog’s vaccination history and the owner’s contact information.
- It will help to prevent further accidents; the owner of the dog must take the necessary precautions to prevent them.
- It will help the authorities identified dangerous dogs. Usually, the owner is forced to get insurance to cover for future possible accidents.
- Sometimes, the dog is dangerous because the owner mistreats it. If you report the accident, an animal control agency will help to protect the animal.
Why Children Are More Affected?
More than half of the dog bite victims are children between the ages of 5 to 9. They are more careless than an adult, therefore they have higher chances of getting bitten by a dog. Also, their small size makes them an easy target. According to the American Humane Society, close to 60% of the injuries are inflicted in the child’s head or neck, which are very delicate parts. Like in adults’ cases, the arms and legs are also affected.
The fatality rate is higher among children, there are 70 casualties for every 100 children bitten. Severe dog bites can cause extreme bleeding, muscles and tendon damage, and it can also rip bones and skin.
Dogs are prone to attack children because they aren’t able to read the dog’s signs. For example, if a dog is scared, an adult can recognize this and won’t get close to the nervous. This doesn’t happen with children, they are more likely to approach the dog, triggering a defensive reaction.
Proving the Owner Liability.
The procedure can be different; this depends on the local laws. But as a general trend you must:
- Prove that the owner was aware that his dog is dangerous.
- Provide evidence that the owner did nothing to prevent the accident. For example, he didn’t have a leash on the dog, and the dog escapes and bite someone.
But if the dog breed is known to be dangerous, or particularly vicious, the victim doesn’t need to prove any of those points. The concept of a dangerous dog depends on the local legislation, for more information gets in contact with our team of experts.
Hire a Dog Bite Lawyer and Secure Compensation Today!
Filling a dog bite lawsuit is a difficult process, it is subjected to a tricky legal background. Getting the help from a lawyer, who is an expert in these claims, will improve your chances of getting compensation.
Sometimes, when the owner of the dog has insurance, they will try to settle the claims quickly. Don’t sign anything before talking to your lawyer, and knowing the extension of your injuries. A good Dog bite injury lawyer will help you to secure compensation for:
- Present and future medical expenses.
- Emotional and psychological damage.
- Loss of income.
- Pain and suffering.
The amount of money that you will get as compensation depends on the accident itself. the more serious it is; the more money you will get. When the victim is a child, the compensation amount is often bigger than if the victim was an adult.
Part of the compensation can run by the insurance, your lawyer must review the contract and use the pertinent clauses when needed. Some insurances will take care of all the expenses, especially if the owner can’t pay the compensation amount. But the downside is that the accident must happen inside the owner's property. This only applies if you are legally inside it. Therefore, if a dog bites you, and you were trespassing, your claim is not valid.
Having help from an experienced dog bite attorney will make the process flow smoothly. He will take care of all the paperwork and will defend your best interests. Get in contact with our team of experts if you or your loved ones are involved in a dog bite accident. Let us help you to find the settlement you deserve.