You may be surprised to find that, each day, nearly 1,000 U.S. citizens require emergency care for dog bite injuries. In these summer months, kids are out of school and free to roam wherever they may go, and dog bites may become more prevalent for this very reason. In fact, in 2001 alone, 42% of dog bites occurred among children aged 14 years and younger. Injury rates just so happened to be highest among children aged 5-9 years and were significantly higher for boys.
Many people who are involved in these unfortunate accidents may receive injuries such as abrasions, lacerations, punctures, tissue loss and avulsion, crush injuries, fractured bones, strain injuries, and scars. But what should you do if an animal bites you? You should always think about your health and seek medical attention immediately. If not, an animal bite can cause very serious complications such as injury, infection, and possibly death if the animal was diseased with rabies or another disease.
Involving an Attorney
Of course, after you have received proper medical attention, you should get into contact with an attorney who has experience in these types of cases. If you have received serious injuries from the attack, there are some steps you can take. Your attorney will want to make a determination of who is responsible for the animal bite – which all boils down to who the owner of the animal is. Under strict liability terms, an owner is legally responsible for an animal bite even if they took steps to stop the animal from harming another person. The owner may have also known that the animal could be dangerous because of acts that have occurred in the past. If they knew this and the animal continued to bite somebody, the owner can be held liable for the animal’s harmful actions.
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Defenses in Animal Bite Injury Cases
Did the owner of the animal adequately warn people that the animal was dangerous from the start? If so, and they took measures to keep the animal away from people, then the victim may not successfully sue the owner. The injured person may be found under “assumption of the risk,” where they should have rightfully known that there was a risk involved because they heard it or saw it themselves. An example of this is somebody who comes across a “Beware of Dog” sign but continues to ignore it. If they ignore it and get bitten, the owner may not be found responsible for the accident.
Another way to use a defense in this case is if the injured person provoked the animal. An animal owner may be able to prove this if they saw the actions and witnesses saw the actions, such as the victim teasing the animal with a threatening gesture. If they did this, then the owner’s liability may not be evident.
If somebody has been injured in an animal attack, they may try to receive compensation for their injuries. Some means of compensation relating to an animal bite may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. Have you been injured by an animal due to a bite or another attack? Call us today for more information so we can discuss your case. At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi we can offer you the help you need to excel in your case.