Attacks by animals, especially dogs, are not commonplace, however, that does not mean that they never happen. Even though dogs are considered one of the most loyal animals in the world and often referred to as “a man’s best friend,” all animals are unpredictable creatures and you never know when they might attack, and if not the owner, then someone else.
With the increase of pet dogs in the United States of America, it is not shocking that there have been more than 800,000 Americans who get treatment for dog bites every year. If a pet dog hurts or attacks someone, it is the owner of the dog who has to compensate for the victim’s injury, including medical expenses and other significant losses. The victim has the right to file a lawsuit for damages and compensation which includes the following:
- All medical expenses attributed to the dog’s attack
- Any pain and suffering that was caused to the victim
- Any loss of income the victim suffered
- Any damages which were caused to any property which was the result of the attack
- Multiple or punitive damages
However, it should be noted that if the victim had his share of the blame for the incident, for example if he or she provoked the dog to be aggressive, the damages might have to be reduced, depending on the circumstances of the case.
What to Do When Attacked by a Dog?
First and foremost, it goes without saying that if bitten by a dog, no matter how minor you feel the injury is, it is best advised that you should always seek immediate medical treatment.
Moreover, it is necessary to gather as much evidence from the scene of the crime in order to have a stronger claim in court. As such, there are some steps that you can take at the scene of the incident that can help your dog bite lawsuit:
Taking photographs of the dog that attacked you as well as the injury that you sustained is the best way to strengthen your claim.
Many people often forget the minor details of the incident which are later proven to be critical to their case, and making a note of the events as they happened from your perspective can only help your case.
Get Details of the Dog’s Owner
It is very convenient for your claim if you have at least the owner’s contact details or address.
If there are any witnesses present at the incident, it is highly recommended that you get their contact information so that they can attest to the incident if required.
Injuries and Their Types
Injuries attributed by a dog bite towards the victim can depend on the specific circumstances of the case, however there are some common injuries that are sustained by the majority of the people such as:
These are the most common types of injuries, and depending on the severity of the bite, can cause numerous complications. For example if the skin is broken or peeled off, then bacteria already present in the mouth of the dog can be transferred to the open wound leading to an infection.
Horrible scars can lead to damages in the tissue and might even lead to psychological damage for the victim.
Sometimes dog bites are so intense they might lead to broken bones and fractures.
If as a result of the attack, the victim falls down or the dog attacks the person directly on the head, this can cause concussions and other head injuries.
Even if the injury is a minor one, many victims suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and might live in the fear of dogs or other animals for the result of their life.