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Man’s best friend can also be man’s accidental foe. Dogs have been our faithful companions for millennia, providing us friendship, support, and protection. But what happens when man’s best friend turns against us?
Dog bites can cause long-term physical and emotional damage. If you or someone you love is a victim, you should speak to a knowledgeable dog bite attorney to understand your options.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 4.7 million dog attacks happen every year in the United States. About 800,000 of these injuries require medical attention, and about 16 are fatal. The victims are usually children between the ages of 5 and 9 years. Elderly people and mail carriers are the second and third most common victims respectively. Dog attacks can happen without warning, and the injuries can be devastating, both mentally and physically. Children especially may develop a lifelong fear of dogs after a dog bite and may need years of counseling and therapy to overcome the phobia.
Even small dogs can seriously injure a person if they aren’t properly trained or restrained. Large dogs’ teeth can cause deep cuts that go all the way to the muscles, tendons, and bones. The loss of blood from a dog attack can be fatal, and scarring and disfigurement are common. The risk of infection is high.
Dog bites can not only be surprising, but traumatizing for all parties involved. What do you do if you’re the victim? What if it’s your dog that does the biting? What happens to Spike, you’re four legged fur baby? Watch our video to see what happens before, during, and after a dog bite.
The treatment for a dog bite depends on the injury. At a minimum, the victim’s wounds need to be cleaned, treated for infection, and bandaged or stitched. Oral antibiotics may also be prescribed. In more severe cases where bones get broken and internal organs are damaged, treatment may involve a lengthy hospital stay. Out of pocket medical expenses and lost time at work can create a serious financial hardship for the victim.
Unfortunately, irresponsible and negligent pet owners are often to blame when a dog bites. Arizona law holds a dog’s owner liable for injuries and attacks. It allows victims to seek compensation from the dog’s owner if the victim was in a public place or legally on private property. For example, you may have a claim against the dog’s owner if the animal bit you while the owner was walking it or while it was running free unsupervised.
Another possible dog bite liability scenario is when a third party, such as an employer, is involved in the case. Suppose the victim works for a utility company reading meters and gets bit by a dog while on the job. Workers’ compensation coverage may pay, but the employee may still pursue a claim against the dog’s owner. In this case, the workers’ compensation insurance company may seek reimbursement from any award the victim receives. This kind of dog bite case is complicated, and you should never agree to anything without speaking to a Phoenix dog bite attorney first.
Not only can you file a claim for medical expenses; you can also seek payment for future medical care such as therapy and counseling. Your attorney may also be able to make a case for non-economic damages such as pain, trauma, and loss of enjoyment of life. If you need to file a dog bite claim, you should choose a Phoenix dog bite lawyer with extensive experience handling these claims, one who knows how to make sure you get everything to which you are entitled.
Saddler Law Firm in Phoenix, AZ knows that when dealing with a dog bite, we aren’t just considering the humans involved, but the dog involved as well. That’s why we treated dog bite cases – and all of our cases – with support, care, and sympathy for you or your loved. Call us today.
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