Dogs are one of the most popular pets in this country, known to be loyal and loving. But even the friendliest-looking dog can quickly become frightening if it becomes aggressive. More than four million people are bitten by dogs each year.
Anyone who has ever been a victim of a dog bite can likely attest to how dangerous they can be. Even if the bite appears to not be that serious, it can quickly turn into a significant health issue. Many people suffer hand and wrist injuries during an attack, often from trying to protect themselves. They can be left with permanent damage in these areas, which can interfere with their ability to earn a living.
Disfigurement is also one of the most common issues caused by dog bites. Scarring can permanently alter the victim’s appearance. This is particularly true with facial scarring. Young children are especially vulnerable to attacks and often suffer facial injuries because of their small height.
Amputations are also another potential dog bite injury, especially with children. If a victim’s limb suffers significant damage from the dog attack, it may be necessary to amputate.
Many dog bite victims are also left with serious emotional trauma from the attack. If a victim has suffered any type of physical, emotional, and financial losses from the attack, they may be able to pursue legal action against the dog’s owner, depending on the circumstances of the case. The following is a brief overview of the legalities that apply to these cases. For more detailed information, contact a skilled dog bite lawyer for legal assistance.
Every state sets its own liability laws, however, all of them generally have strict liability laws when it comes to dog owners, requiring the owner to always have complete control over the dog, ensuring the dog cannot cause injury to anyone.
There are some exceptions to strict liability laws. One of those defenses is provocation. If the owner can show the victim provoked the dog and that is why the dog attacked, the victim would not be entitled to any damages. Some of the most common types of provocation include:
- Dog protecting the owner from the victim.
- The dog was reacting to pain.
- The victim was threatening, assaulting, or abusing the dog
- The victim is someone who in the past has threatened, assaulted, or abused the dog.
What Damages Can a Victim Recover
When a person has suffered injuries from an unprovoked dog bite, they may be entitled to damages that include all of the medical bills, loss of income if they were unable to work while they recovered from their injury, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, permanent disability, disfigurement, scarring, and more. If the victim is left with a significant disability, any future medical bill, loss of future income, and other expenses can also be recovered.
Thanks to our friends at Wandres Law, P.C. for their insight into dog bite injuries.