Dog attacks are a very common occurrence in the U.S. More than 800,000 people are bitten by a dog and require medical attention every year. Out of those individuals, 334,000 will have serious injuries that require a hospital. The medical costs alone can range in the hundreds to thousands of dollars. The owner of the dog should be held responsible for at least these costs.
Even the friendliest dogs will attack when they feel threatened or scared. It is the responsibility of the dog owner to prevent situations where their dog may attack. Unfortunately, not all owners take this responsibility seriously. When an attack occurs, victims should search for a dog bite lawyer to help with the situation.
Leash laws are state or local ordinances that require dog owners to keep their pets on a leash when outdoors or in public areas. These laws help to minimize situations where a dog may attack by fining or removing dogs that are not properly leashed. Unfortunately, not every state or municipality has leash laws.
Dog Bite Injuries
Dogs tend to have very powerful teeth and jaws. A dog can inflict serious wounds that crush or tear skin and muscles. Teeth can penetrate and damage internal organs or cause damage to blood vessels and nerves. If the dog has the opportunity to reach the face or neck, it can cause serious damage to the face, eyes, ears, throat, and windpipe.
Dog bites, especially from larger dogs, can cause devastating injuries. In some cases, they may even cause permanent disabilities. There are even many reported cases where a dog attack has resulted in the death of the victim.
The costs of medical care alone can be overwhelming for victims. Those that face permanent disabilities, may never be able to work again. In these situations, the dog owner should be held responsible for the costs of any and all damages a victim has incurred.
Dog Bite Infections
Even minor dog bites should be taken seriously. Some small dogs may not be able to cause the physical damage larger dogs can, but they can still pose serious risks of infections. This makes it very important to seek medical care immediately after any dog bite that breaks the skin.
Even dogs that are up to date on all their shots still carry a lot of bacteria in their mouth. Dog bites tend to be rough and jagged, which can leave the victim exposed to other infections. If a dog has not received its proper vaccinations, victims could be at risk for rabies.
How an Attorney Can Help
An attorney can provide information about the local laws surrounding dogs and their owners. Leash laws in the area can make it easier to prove a dog owner liable if their dog was not on a leash. An attorney will help review the circumstances of the attack and determine who may be responsible for damages. The attorney will even determine if previous complaints about the dog have been recorded.
An attorney will provide victims with the information needed to pursue a case against the dog owner. If the dog owner has any type of homeowner’s insurance or other coverage, the attorney can assist in filing a claim with their provider. If the case needs to go to court, the attorney will assist in filing that case and represent the victim in court.
It is important for anyone who has been bitten by a dog to seek medical care immediately. This can reduce complications and risks of infections. It is also important for victims to file a claim as soon as possible to prevent losing their opportunity due to the statute of limitations in their state.