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Personal Injury from a Dog Bite

Great Dane SilhouetteOne of the scariest things to have happen to you is to be attacked by a dog.  It leaves you bloody, bruised and shaken; and that’s if you survive.  The news is full of cases where dogs have mauled people to death or severely injured them.  It is estimated that there is approximately 5 million victims of dog bites every year.  So what causes man’s best friend to turn on him?

There are many reasons for a dog to bite.  The dog may just be aggressive and mean.  But many times a dog bites out of fear or pain.  Small children hitting a dog with something or reaching into a food bowl when the dog is eating.  If a dog was repeatedly kicked by an owner, another owner may not realize its fear of fast foot movements and find himself bitten if the dog feels threatened by even kicking a ball.  There are those who would argue that there is no reason for a dog to bite, but each situation needs to be looked at to determine what caused the bite.

Certain breed dogs are associated with being aggressive; pit bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Akitas and Chows.  These breeds are thought to be the most aggressive, but in reality any dog can be made aggressive.  And any of the breeds listed here can be the best dog ever.  Many insurance companies refuse to insure those who have certain breeds of dog.  A dog owner needs to train their dog and make sure it does not run loose.  But even though every precaution may be taken, accidents, or in this case, bites can happen.  What should you do if you are the victim of a dog bite?

The first thing to do is to determine the extent of injuries.  Are they minor or will you need extensive medical intervention?  Either way, you should be seen by a doctor.  The area of the bite will need to be thoroughly cleaned and bandaged.  Perhaps a tetanus shot will be ordered by your doctor.  If the owner of the dog is known, any vet records showing the dog’s vaccination history helps determine your medical care.  Be sure to have the injuries photographed.  Most hospitals are required by law to report dog bite victims to the police, so you should expect to have a report done on the incident.  Be as accurate as possible in describing what happened.  The dog will be quarantined for a period of time to ensure there are no diseases.

As always, if a lawsuit is necessary because of the dog bite, hire an attorney who is experienced with these types of cases.  Normally an insurance company won’t offer a settlement that meets your needs and only an experienced lawyer can obtain that for you.