Dogs are man’s best friends and can make the most wonderful, loyal companions. Conscientious owners can easily prevent dog attacks and injuries by keeping their animals on a leash and under control at all times, especially in public areas. However, when a negligent owner fails to control their animal adequately, victims can suffer horrific wounds that could cause troubling infections and lifelong scarring.
Dog attacks can be terrifying, painful, emotionally distressing, and result in steep medical bills for a victim. If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to a dog attack, you could recover compensation. While the cost of a dog bite lawyer can vary, with Morgan & Morgan, you pay nothing unless we win and you recover damages. Contact us now for a free case review to find out how you could get justice and compensation.
Dog Bite Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 360,000 individuals required medical help for dog bite injuries in 2001 alone. Based on the CDC’s figures, children under ten years of age are at particular danger of becoming victims of dog attacks.
Generally, all types of dog breeds can inflict painful bites. However, some of the larger breeds are generally stronger and can be more dangerous than others. Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and German shepherds tend to be at the top of the list when it comes to dangerous dog breeds in this country. According to Forbes, Pit Bulls are responsible for more than half of all fatal dog attacks in the U.S., despite the breed accounting for only 6.5 percent of the dog population.
Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bite injuries can be anything but trivial. Individuals who suffered severe injuries in a dog attack can experience ongoing physical pain, emotional trauma, and other long-term consequences for their health. Common dog bite injuries can include:
- Broken and crushed bones
- Head and facial injuries
- Disfigurement and extensive scarring
- Deep puncture wounds and lacerations
- Muscle injuries
- Temporary or permanent nerve damage
No matter how small, injuries from dog bites should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible. Infections with bacteria or viruses are a common and potentially serious concern with dog bites and can include:
- The “superbug” MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus)
- Pasteurella Bacteria
Rabies and Tetanus can be fatal if not immediately treated. Victims with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk from suffering significant adverse effects after dog bites.
Emotional Injuries After Dog Attacks
Emotional injuries can be just as damaging as physical injuries and severely impact a victim’s life. Emotional distress associated with a frightening dog attack can include:
- Intense fear of dogs
- Dreading to leave the home
- Flashbacks of the dog attack
- Nightmares and insomnia
- Depression and anxiety
- Lack of confidence due to scarring and disfigurement
A victim with emotional injuries may require extensive psychological counseling after experiencing a traumatizing dog attack. Victims are generally entitled to pursue compensation for damages related to their emotional as well as their physical injuries.
Compensation You Could Recover After a Dog Attack
If you got hurt in a dog attack and incurred expenses, you could be entitled to damages, including but not limited to:
- Medical costs and future healthcare expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Permanent disfigurement
- Loss of life enjoyment
The amount and types of compensation recoverable in your dog bite case will depend on the circumstances of the attack, the severity of your injuries, and your overall damages in connection with the dog attack.
Wrongful Death Damages
If your loved one passed away from their dog bite injuries, you could potentially file a wrongful death lawsuit to help with the financial consequences of losing a family member. Damages in wrongful death claims can include, among others:
- Income and benefits from the deceased
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of parental guidance (minor children)
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses before death
- Loss of inheritance
Your Next Best Steps After a Dog Attack
If you suffered injuries due to a negligent dog owner, you could take some essential steps to protect your legal rights as soon as possible.
Seek Medical Help Immediately After a Dog Bite
Wounds from dog bites typically require prompt medical treatment and wound cleaning to cut down on the risk of infections and other complications. Make sure you talk to your doctor about any potential tetanus or rabies inoculations after getting bitten. Visiting a medical professional can also provide you with the evidence you need to prove your injuries and medical bills, which will be crucial for holding a dog owner to account.
Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer
If you or a loved one got injured due to a dog owner’s recklessness, you could be entitled to compensation and should contact an attorney for advice as soon as possible. Unfortunately, in some cases, victims of dog attacks shy away from seeking legal advice due to worrying about the cost of a dog bite lawyer. This could be a mistake as there are time limits in most states for filing personal injury lawsuits. Therefore, the best step after getting medical help can be consulting with a dog bite lawyer from our firm and learn about your legal options.