Dog bite injuries are not usually seen as severe incidents, yet these can have a strong negative impact on a victim’s life. Depending on the severity of the injury, different areas can be affected, including the career (if the wound leads to loss of earning capacity). Also, the medical bills (even for a relatively minor injury) can pile up and take a toll on a household’s financial situation.
There has been an increase in dog bite incidents across the United States in the last few years. Citizens often wonder whether it is worth initiating a lawsuit or not. The answer depends a lot on the circumstances and what you wish to gain from the lawsuit. Most victims aim to cover their medical expenses. This is a rather feasible goal, and a qualified lawyer can help you reach it.
General Statistics on Dog Bites
The CDC (Centre for Disease Control) has conducted a study that revealed approximately 4.5 million yearly dog bite incidents in the United States. From these, over 800,000 resulted in medical care.
Fortunately, over 81 percent of all dog bites did not require medical care as victims presented only minor injuries. Also, for your peace of mind, you should know that over $530 million have been paid in 2014 by insurance companies towards clients who filed for dog bite incidents.
Ways to Prevent Dog Bites
Let us clearly establish that there are no specific breeds to be considered more dangerous than others. It all depends on the animal’s background and how the owner or handler is treating and training them. A few good ways to prevent dog bites are:
- Always approach a dog slowly and give them a chance to smell your hand
- Do not go near dogs you do not know
- If you wish to pet a dog, it is polite to ask the owner first if you can do that
- If you see a dog eating or taking care of pups, do not approach them
- Do not run away or scream if a dog suddenly becomes aggressive; instead, try to stay motionless for as long as possible.
When to Seek Medical Care
It is important to know that most injuries resulting from dog bites are treatable at home. If you wash and disinfect the wound daily and check for any signs of possible infection (such as redness, swelling, strange discharge, or even a foul odor), you should be able to manage the healing process safely. However, it is always best to have a physician take a look at the injury, no matter how mild it is.
There are a few instances where you must seek medical assistance, such as being bitten by a stray dog or if the victim has a weak immune system. Other situations that might cause concern include ongoing bleeding for more than 15 minutes, if the owner cannot show the immunization records, or if the bite has broken through the skin.
When to Ask For Legal Assistance
It is important to know that both parties involved in the event need legal representation should the situation escalate. Having an expert lawyer by your side to guide you through a lawsuit will greatly simplify the seemingly complex procedure. Furthermore, it can also put you at ease and let you concentrate on getting the necessary medical care.
A dog bite can leave you not only with trauma but also with serious scarring or long-term consequences, which is why you need to arm yourself with an expert. An experienced dog bites lawyer in Long Island is available for you 24/7, should you ever encounter such a situation in New York state.
Whether you or a loved one have gone through a traumatic dog bite attack, try to keep your calm. It is important to go through the medical procedures before contacting your lawyer for further assistance. Filing for a lawsuit can help you secure the financial assistance you need to overcome the accident.