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A dog bites a kid

“They may be our best friends, but dogs are still animals and they can bite.  In fact, dogs bite about 4.7 million Americans every year, half of them children between ages 5 and 9”, Web MD points out. In fact, dogsbite.org predicts, by 2020, pit bulls alone are projected to have mauled 385 Americans to death since 1998, the year the CDC stopped tracking fatal dog attacks by breed. “Notably, each year, an American has a one in 50 chance of being bitten by a dog.”

California attorney Kenneth M. Phillips, a leading authority in dog bite law, lists types of injuries that can result from dog bites:

  • abrasions
  • lacerations
  • punctures
  • tissue loss
  • crush injuries
  • fractured bones
  • sprain / strain injuries
  • scars
  • infections such as rabies
  • nerve damage
  • facial fractures

Millions of people are bitten by dogs in the United States each year, resulting in an estimated 885,000 injuries that require medical attention, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About half of these injuries are sustained by children. Some 31,000 people required reconstructive surgery because of dog bites in the year 2016 alone. Hospital costs for these injuries are estimated at more than $100 million annually. +According to the American Medical Association, dog bites are the second leading cause of childhood injury, surpassing playground accidents.

Indiana law states that the owner of a dog has liability when the dog bites a person:

  • who is acting peaceably and did not provoke the dog
  • who is in a location where the dog owner has a duty of care

The dog’s owner is liable even if the dog had never previously behaved viciously.

“An animal bite is a reportable health event,” in.gov explains. The form to be filled out is available at https://www.in.gov/boah/2467.htm.

Dog bite accident victims have the right to collect damages for injuries that are someone else’s fault. If you have suffered a dog bite injury, the damages are designed to help pay for:

  • past, present, and future medical bills
  • repair or replacement of any damaged or destroyed property (such as glasses or clothing
  • lost wages for time off from work
  • cost of hiring household help
  • any permanent disabilities or disfigurement you’ve suffered because of the dog bite
  • emotional distress

“An attack by dogs or a dog bite can be traumatic because it is often a sudden, savage, unpredictable, random act of violence which overwhelms a person’s capacity to take control and cope, and subsequently master the feelings aroused by the attack” writes Dido Panagiotopoulos in friendsofthedog.com. “Dog bite victims need support to help them minimize the stress of the event,” the author continues. Dog bite victims, he points outs, “need to be able to share their experience, feelings and fears in a safe, caring, empathetic, compassionate and nonjudgmental environment.”

Here at Ramey & Hailey, we couldn’t agree more. As much as people need financial support after their lives have suffered an upheaval due to a dog bite injury, they need to be able to speak out about what happened to them or to someone they love. Often the dog that hurt them belongs to an acquaintance, a neighbor, or a relative, and victims are reluctant to bring legal action against someone they know.

At our Indiana personal injury law firm, dog bite victims can find someone to listen without judgment, someone they can trust to help them gain the financial compensation they need to put their lives back together.


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