Dog Bites- How to React to Them and What to Know Before Filing a Lawsuit
Getting bitten by a dog can be a rather distressing and painful experience. We often considered dogs as loyal and friendly pets but when they bite us, it gives us an upsetting feeling. A dog bite can lead to an odd situation both for the family of the dog and the victim.
Just as we know that dogs are animals, like all other animals, there is a possibility for them to bite us. Did you know that in the United States of America, nearly 5.8 million Americans get bitten by dogs every year? Among this, one in five dog bites lead to critical injuries that often need immediate medical attention.
Most often it is seen that people are bitten by dogs they are familiar with. But if you are a child or an adult who has been bitten by someone else’s dog, there are numerous steps that you should follow, based on the severity of the dog bite injury and on the situation. Keep reading to know more on dog bites, how to react to them, and what to know before filing a lawsuit.
A little bit of Information on dog bites
Considering the fact that there are millions of Americans getting bitten by dogs every year, it might not be a surprising fact anymore that children are also victims of dog bites. Among the total fatality victims related to dog bite injuries, nearly 48% were below the age of 16 years. Apart from children, postal workers and older adults have also been among the frequent dog bite victims.
Statistics reveal that in the year 2020, around 800,000 people were treated due to dog related injuries and had to be taken to the emergency unit. In fact, in the same year, the American insurance companies had to pay around 858 million dollars while processing the innumerable dog bite claims. Law firms like www.gplawyers.com are of the opinion that all the files are not similar to each other. The consequential injuries of a dog bite can vary according to their seriousness. Here are a few classifications of dog bites:
- The first level might be called a snap which can also be termed as an air bite or a warning bite. In this case, there is no skin contact.
- The next level can be a bite where there is skin contact but the bite is such that it doesn’t break into your skin.
- This is a serious bite that leads to four puncture holes in your skin that are less shallow than the length of a dogs tooth.
- This one is a bite that leads to four puncture holes in your skin that have a depth that is more than the length of a dogs tooth. This clearly indicates that the dog had latched onto your skin and has also shook its head while biting you.
- The next level is an even more serious one where there are multiple bites that comprise deep puncture wounds.
- Ultimately, the last level will be a single bite or multiple bites that leads to consume flesh or even death of the person.
What are the situations under which a dog can be considered dangerous?
There are dog statutes in each state according to which a dog is considered dangerous under the following circumstances:
- There is simply no provocation from the person but the dog still attacks him
- The dog is utilised during a crime
- When the dog is away from the property of the owner and it inflicts critical injury or has killed another domestic pet without any kind of provocation
- Dog inflicts a crucial injury without any kind of provocation. In this case a crucial injury is is determined by a physical injury that leads to broken bones, multiple wounds or a wound that will need cosmetic surgery.
Things to know before filing a dog bite lawsuit
Dog bite lawsuits are not as common as car accidents and slip and fall accidents. But since you are aware of the large number of dog bite victims in the US, you should know how to handle a dog bite lawsuit. What are the important things to know before filing a dog bite lawsuit?
You will require proving liability
Depending on the state you live in, you will have to prove your liability before filing a lawsuit. Even if the owner of the dog had no prior knowledge that the dog may bite, he can still be held responsible for the first accident. The person who was the victim of the injury need not prove that the owner of the dog didn’t take care of his pet. On the other hand, if the dog had a previous history of biting other people, the owner should have warned the victim about a potential bite. If he didn’t do that, he will be held liable.
All dog bites will not lead to a lawsuit
Even though the owner of the dog is held responsible for the bite, it is not always a practical option to bring forth a lawsuit. you should always ask yourself whether it is worth your effort and time to bring forth a lawsuit. What are your chances of receiving compensation? If you had a small skin puncture that could be easily treated, it might not be a worthy option to file a lawsuit.
You may receive coverage through your homeowners insurance
A majority of the homeowners insurance policies give coverage against dog bites that may occur inside an insured property. If you have been hesitant to sue a family member or a friend who owns an offending dog, this is certainly a piece of great news for you. You can definitely receive a fair settlement deal without having to visit the court.
If you don’t want to make any mistake while filing a dog bite lawsuit, it is always better to appoint a personal injury attorney who has had experience in dealing with dog bite cases. He can walk you through the complicacies of a legal case and make sure you win a fair settlement deal.