When To Hire A Dog Bite Lawyer
Although dog bites may seem uncommon, they happen every day. Every day, individuals fall victim to debilitating and unprovoked dog attacks. Every day, victims of dog bites suffer physical pain and psychological trauma. In fact, even seemingly minor dog bites can cause serious complications or fatalities.
Dog bite attacks can change the lives of victims forever.
Although any dog is capable of biting a person, some breeds are more likely than others. As a matter of fact, certain dog breeds are statistically proven to be more dangerous than others. Dog Attacks By Breed can vary significantly.
Regardless of breed, dogs can be violent. They can be deadly. They can carry diseases. They can harm vital organs and arteries. They can attack viciously and quickly. In the wrong place at the wrong time, ‘man’s best friend’ may become man’s worst enemy.
Fortunately, victims of dog bite attacks may have recourse. In order to recover money, victims of dog attacks must prove that the owner of the dog is responsible.
Some owners are incompetent and irresponsible. In many cases, dogs should be kept on leashes. They should be behind fences. A dog owner should take all reasonable precautions to prevent a dog bite or attack.
However, it is often difficult to get a dog owner to admit that he or she is responsible for a dog attack. Moreover, it can be even more difficult to get dog owners to accept that they are liable for the damages caused by their dogs.
In some cases, the victim of a dog bite may have provoked the attack. In other cases, the owner was completely responsible. Sometimes, freak accidents occur. There are many different situations and scenarios. This is why proving responsibility and liability can be a long and difficult process.
Seeking A Dog Bite Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve suffered a dog bite, a dog bite lawyer can likely help. The services of an experienced dog bite lawyer are crucial for a number of reasons. Firstly, dog bite attorneys understand how to present your injury. As personal injury specialists, dog bite attorneys recognize the law.
These legal professionals also recognize the many difficulties involved in the process.
Most importantly, a seasoned dog bite attorney can help determine who is responsible. Victims of dog bites can use these legal experts for positive legal outcomes. Without a legal professional, winning a dog bite claim may be extremely difficult.
A good attorney can help hold the right party responsible to get each victim the financial compensation deserved.
Dog bite attorneys can also help with general negotiation. Too often, personal injury claimants lack the necessary negotiating skills to compete with professional negotiators. Many insurance companies may reach settlements that do not account for the victim’s damages.
Insurance adjusters will pressure victims to settle as quickly as possible. This is problematic. Without a seasoned personal injury attorney, a dog bite victim may fall into this settlement trap.
This is why legal counsel is so important. A good dog bite lawyer can help a victim pursue fair, just and full compensation for all reasonable damages. Without this legal aid, victims of vicious dog bites may continue to suffer.
In fact, dog bites can lead to significant suffering. Some dog bites may actually be fatal without immediate medical help.
ER Visits from Dog Bites
Overall, dogs are one of the most popular pets in the United States. Approximately 77.5 million dogs are owned in the country, and roughly 4.5 million people are bitten by those dogs every year. Fortunately, the majority of these incidents are minor.
But some dog bites are absolutely devastating.
Medical Dog Bite Statistics
In fact, dog bite victims are certainly no strangers to the emergency room. According to statistics published in 2010 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the number of people who have been sent to ERs or hospitals has doubled since 1995.
The study found that an estimated 316,200 people were treated in U.S. emergency rooms for dog bites in 2008. That works out to nearly 104 ER visits per 100,000 people. Roughly 9,500 people were admitted to hospitals for dog bite treatments, a rate of three people per 100,000.
Dog Bites By Demographics
As research indicates, the number of dog bite victims requiring ER or hospital treatment are not equally distributed among all demographics. Sex, age and environment seem to play a part in who is most at risk.
According to the 2010 study by the AHRQ, the majority of people who visited an ER for dog bites were men. Men were treated in emergency rooms at a rate of 110 per 100,000, and women were treated at a rate of 98 per 100,000.
The vast majority of dog bite victims were in the younger demographics. Just over 73 percent of victims going to ERs were under the age of 45 while 51 percent of those in the hospital were younger than 45.
Dog Bites By Geographic Location
Dog bite attacks also appear more prevalent in certain geographic areas. The AHRQ statistics show that most dog bites occurred in rural areas. There were four times as many emergency room visits for rural dog bites as emergency room visits for urban dog bites.
In addition, approximately three times as many rural victims were admitted to hospitals as city victims.
The victims going to ERs and hospitals were also categorized by geographic region in the study. The highest rate of ER visits was in the Midwest at nearly 110 per 100,000 people. The next highest rate occurred in the Northeast where 109 people per 100,000 visited ERs. The lowest rate of ER treatment was in the West at 93 people per 100,000.
Dog Bites By Costs
The study also revealed that hospital stays for dog bite victims were approximately 50 percent more expensive than stays for other injuries. The average cost for dog bite victims was $18,200 per stay. Injuries treated included infections, open wounds and fractures. Over 40 percent of these costs were paid through private insurance.
The average daily cost for dog bite-related hospitalizations was 150% higher than that for other injury-related hospitalizations.
Overall, the aggregate cost for dog-bite inpatient stays reached $53.9 million in 2008.
Fortunately, most of these dog bites and attacks were non-fatal. These non-lethal dog bite attacks comprise the majority of dog bites. Although such personal injuries pose no risk of death, these attacks are still potentially life-changing.
Non-Fatal Dog Attacks
Most dog bites are not fatal but can still cause serious injuries. The definitive study on non-fatal dog bites was published in 2003 by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This study examined the type and extent of non-fatal dog bite injuries.
CDC Dog Bite Statistics
According to the CDC, about 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs in a single year. Of those bitten, nearly 20 percent require professional medical treatment. In addition, over 31,000 people per year require reconstructive surgery following non-fatal dog bites.
An alarming number of non-fatal dog bites occurs among children. In 2001, approximately 42 percent of dog bite victims were under the age of 15. The highest rate of dog bites among all age ranges were children between the ages of four and 10, and most of those were boys rather than girls.
Sadly, many children are too small or weak to defend themselves against attacking dogs. Whereas adults may stand a better chance, children may struggle immensely. Children attacked by dogs may incur lasting and severe injuries and wounds.
The most common non-fatal injuries were bites to the arms and hands. These comprised 45 percent of non-fatal injuries. Nearly 26 percent of injuries were to the legs and feet. Although head and neck bites were the least common injuries among all age groups, at 23 percent, nearly 65 percent of children’s injuries were in this region of the body.
Unfortunately, some injuries involve a vital organ or artery. In these cases, the victim may require extensive medical treatment.
Deadly Dog Attack Statistics by Breed
There are many studies evaluating Dog Bites By Breed. Certain animals are bred to be more violent. Certain dogs are bred to be more docile. Some breeds of dogs are simply more violent or vicious, depending upon circumstantial factors.
Nonetheless, it is important to understand which breeds are more likely to attack. Some canines have the power, temperament and breeding to cause serious damage. The average person should be aware.
Dog Bite Statistics By Breed
A compilation of statistics from the United States and Canada between 1982 and 2011 shows that certain dog breeds bite people more often than other breeds do. One surprising fact obtained from these statistics is that three breeds are responsible for the vast majority of bites: pit bulls, rottweilers and wolf hybrids.
These three breeds should be trained and raised with care. Owners should take great precaution whenever possible. Such precautionary measures include leashes, fences, and proper lifestyles.
Most Dog Bites By Breed
According to the statistics, approximately 77 percent of all dog attacks were by pit bulls, rottweilers and wolf hybrids. Moreover, these three breeds accounted for 81 percent of attacks among adults. In addition, these three breeds were responsible for 68 percent of all fatal dog bites in the U.S. and Canada.
The breeds that caused the most fatalities, however, are not the same three that caused the most injuries. Full-blooded pit bulls caused 207 fatalities, the most fatalities recorded during the study period. Rottweilers were second at 78 and huskies were third at 22. Wolf hybrids came up fourth with 19 deaths.
Other breeds responsible for fatal bites were bullmastiffs, German shepherds, akitas, chows and Doberman pinschers.
Every dog bite attack is different. The unique factors in each dog bite attack must be evaluated. The situation and circumstance must be assessed.
Fortunately, a seasoned dog bite attorney can help.
Getting Legal Help
In order to win a dog bite claim, a claimant must prove that another party is at-fault. This may involve proving negligence, recklessness and intentional misconduct. Certain personal injury lawyers can do this better than others can.
At the Law Offices of Samuel Fishman, seasoned professionals are ready to help. Samuel Fishman, Esq. understands the struggle.
After all, the last thing dog bite victims want is to have to deal with attorneys. This is especially difficult throughout the medical treatment process.
However, professional legal counsel is often the only recourse for claiming compensation following a dog bite. If the bitten individual is not at-fault, then compensation should be sought. It is in a victim’s best interests to contact an attorney as soon as possible after the incident.
Victims of dog bites should never accept the blame for being bitten. An experienced attorney may uncover facts that were not readily apparent when the incident occurred.
In fact, many dog owners are quick to blame victims for provoking their dogs to attack. Some dog owners may even try to hide important facts about their dogs’ behaviors or the specific situations.
Instead of accepting the blame, victims should seek legal help.
An experienced attorney will offer a free consultation, and if the case is accepted, it is usually on a contingency basis. This means no upfront costs are required to initiate proceedings. The attorney does not get paid unless the victim receives a settlement or judgment for the sustained injuries.
Victims of dog bite attacks should not wait. The statute of limitations differs from state to state and victims should seek legal counsel before it is too late.
The best legal professionals can help through every stage of the dog bite claim process.
The professionals at the Law Offices of Samuel Fishman are happy to help.