Every day, roughly 1,000 people throughout the United States seek emergency medical care for dog bite injuries. Dog bite attacks vary in severity. Many of these victims may be entitled to seek compensation for their accident-related expenses.
Puncture Wounds and Lacerations
Almost all dog bite attacks involve puncture wounds and lacerations. The severity of the injury and its location on a person's body, will be a major factor in determining the value of a dog bite injury case. If these wounds require medical attention, prompt attention to those wounds is important. The sooner medical attention is provided to treat the dog bite wound, the more likely one can reduce infection and more significant scarring.
Most dog bite wounds heal but will most likely leave some scarring. The severity and visibility of the scar also contributes to the value of a dog bite injury. Sometimes those scars require cosmetic surgery to help make the dog bite victim to feel better about themselves and help restore some normalcy after the injury.
The force of a dog's jaws can cause broken bones, most often in the extremities. Victims may also sustain fractures if they are pushed to the ground or fall while trying to run away from the attacking animal.
Minor bone fractures can heal in as little as six weeks, but a significant break can take three to four months to heal. For adult victims who work in jobs that require physical activity, broken bones may require time off work. The cost of these lost wages should be included in any personal injury settlement.
Nerve damage from a dog bite attack can result in loss of sensation, or hypersensation and limited range of motion. There are three types of nerve damage: neurapraxia, axonotmesis, and neurotmesis. Most victims with neurapraxia and axonotmesis will recover with physical therapy, but others with neurotmesis can be left with lasting disabilities.
Head injuries can occur if the dog pushes the victim to the ground or if he or she falls while trying to run away. A concussion is the most common type of head injury relating to a dog bite attack. Concussions can cause symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, visual disturbances, and mental confusion. Mental and physical rest is necessary for recovery, resulting in the victim being required to miss work or school for several days.
A serious dog bite attack could result in a traumatic brain injury leading to permanent cognitive impairment. This would require the victim to seek ongoing medical care and limit his or her future earning potential.
While the physical injuries from a dog bite attack may be the most readily apparent to the naked eye, the psychological trauma can leave lasting emotional scars. Children are particularly vulnerable to emotional distress following a dog bite attack.
Victims of a dog bite attack may experience an intense fear of animals, anxiety, and nightmares. Those who were left with disfiguring scars may also suffer from body image issues related to the change in their appearance. A personal injury claim can include compensation for emotional pain and suffering, as well as the cost of any therapy or medication prescribed to treat the psychological effects of a dog bite.
In rare cases, dog bite attacks are fatal. Fatal dog bite attacks are most likely when the victim is a child or there are multiple dogs involved in the attack.
When a dog bite attack results in a fatality, the victim's parent, spouse, domestic partner, adult child, or next of kin can file a wrongful death claim. This is a special type of personal injury suit that seeks compensation for accident-related expenses as well as the tragic loss of life due the negligence of the dog's owner.
Seeking Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries
Victims of dog bite attacks may be entitled to compensation for the damages they've suffered, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, negotiating a fair settlement often proves to be a challenge.
Dog bite claims are typically processed under the owner's homeowner's insurance policy, but there are extensive rules and regulations regarding the settlement process. Hiring a personal injury attorney to advocate for your needs is the best option to ensure your interests are protected.
Please call to discuss your dog bite claim with one of our personal injury recovery professionals attorneys at the Inland Empire Law Group’s Rancho Cucamonga or Victorville offices. Call now (909) 481-0100 or submit your information through this website.