When Dogs Attack: Personal Injury Case TipsMark Clore ·
Although nowhere near as prevalent as car accidents, dog bites are still a major cause of personal injury cases in the US today. According to the CDC, approximately 4.5 million people are bitten annually. Of those, around 885,000 bites require medical treatment, with about 50-percent of the victims being children. Between 2010-2013, 129 dog attacks were fatal. Risk Factors Children, especially those between the ages of five-to-nine, have the greatest risk of being attacked. They're also the most likely to require medical attention after a dog bite. It's further been noted that adult males are at greater risk than females. A lot has been said about the breed of the dog as well. The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia reviewed five years of records of patients who had been attacked by a dog. They found that about 51-percent of children who needed treatment were bitten by Pit Bulls, almost 9-percent were attacked by Rottweilers, and another 6-percent came from mixes of the two breeds. In total, about two-thirds of dog bites seen in children were caused by Pit Bulls or Rottweilers. Another study noted that of the cases reviewed, nearly half of the dogs theattacked, were abused or neglected in some way. Result In order for a personal injury claim to be valid, proof that the animal's caretaker was neglectful must be available. South Carolina provides an additional exemption that provides immunity to the pet owner if the dog was provoked. For this reason, it can be difficult to prove who is at fault, unless there are numerous eye-witness accounts or there is other compelling evidence. When this occurs, the victim is often left to shoulder the medical costs, losses in wages due to time off work, and cover his own long-term medical needs. When the victim is a child, the injuries tend to be more severe and parents must take time off work to provide care as well. Emotional trauma is also a factor, as many victims, both child and adult, require counseling or other treatment to assist in recovery after the attack. Prevention Pet owners need to be educated about proper care and of the behavioral changes that occur when an animal is abused or neglected. They also have a responsibility to protect others from their dog, whether it's by raising the height of a fence or by routinely checking the strength of the dog's chain. Both pet owners and caretakers of children need to be aware of the danger involved in leaving a child alone with an animal. Kids should also be taught safety measures, such as not approaching an animal they do not know, and what to do if they are approached, or attacked, by an aggressive dog.
Charleston Personal Injury Attorney
If you or your child was bitten by a dog as a result of the owner's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation to cover medical costs as well as pain and suffering. Tell us about your case, or call 1(800)610-2546 and to speak with one of our lawyers to find out how we can help you receive a fair settlement.
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