For many, dogs are more than a pet. They are a part of the family. Yet, no matter how loyal a dog is, it is still important to remember that dogs are animals, specifically animals that can bite. And sadly, every year, countless individuals, especially children, are severely injured due to a dog bite and left to deal with long-lasting consequences, including devastating physical wounds and emotional distress.
However, if your child sustained severe injuries because of a dog bite, they should not have to deal with these repercussions on their own. Instead, they deserve compensation for their injuries, losses, and trauma. That is why, following such a horrifying incident, you must work with an experienced dog bite lawyer. These attorneys can help your child seek the financial remedies they are entitled to and the justice they deserve.
Child Dog Bite Statistics
Unfortunately, when it comes to dog bite incidents and children, the statistics are gruesome:
- A dog has bitten almost half of all children ages 12 and younger.
- According to the CDC, the odds of a dog biting a child are 3.2 to 1.
- Almost 79 percent of all fatal dog attacks involved children.
- Children between the ages of five and nine years old suffer the most dog bite attacks.,
- Most dog bites affecting young children happen during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs.
Strict Liability Rules for Dog Bites
According to California’s strict liability dog-bite laws, a dog’s owner will be responsible for most dog bite injuries, even if they did nothing wrong. As a result, if a victim sues to get compensation for their damages following a dog bite, it does not matter if the dog’s owner did not know their dog was dangerous or took the proper care to prevent the animal from hurting another individual.
Yet, there are limits to this strict liability law. Specifically, the dog’s owner will only be held strictly liable for the injuries their dog causes when an individual is bitten in a public area or in a private place where they were there lawfully.
Following your child’s dog bite, reach out to an experienced dog bite attorney right away. These lawyers can help determine whether your child can pursue a legal claim based on strict liability or whether other legal options apply.
Damages Your Child May Be Entitled to Following a Dog Bite Incident
If your child sustained injuries because of a dog bite, they might be entitled to certain compensation.
In California, this compensation often includes payment for the following losses and damages:
- Medical costs related to all their medical treatments, including hospital stay, doctor visits, surgeries, and prescription medications
- Vocational and physical therapy
- Therapy for trauma, emotional distress, depression, PTSD, and psychological counseling
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Scarring and disfigurement resulting from the bite and puncture wounds
- Limb loss due to amputations or broken bones
However, because these damages include both easily verifiable losses and hard-to-prove losses, it is often in your best interest to reach out to an experienced dog bite attorney as soon as possible. These lawyers can review your child’s case, figure out which of these damages may apply, and help your child secure the maximum compensation they deserve.
Steps You Should Take After a Dog Bites Your Child
If a dog bites your child, the first thing you need to do is seek medical help. If the wound is serious or is around your child’s neck and face, make sure you contact 911 immediately and alert the police and medical personnel of the incident. If the wound is superficial, make sure you wash it out with soap and water, apply a topical antibiotic, and get to a doctor right away.
Although some dog bites may seem minor, these bites can often lead to serious infections or deadly diseases, especially if the dog has not gotten all of its shots. Get to a doctor after a dog bite.
In addition, if the dog’s owner is there, you should get their contact information and name and request proof of the dog’s vaccination status and their veterinarian’s name. If the dog’s owner is not present or the owner is unwilling to provide you with this information, contact Animal Control with a description of the dog and what happened.
Finally, if possible, try to take as many photos as you can of your child’s injuries, the dog that bit your child, and the accident scene. This evidence can help your child’s lawyer prepare the strongest case on your child’s behalf and fight for the financial recovery your child is entitled to.
Fight For the Damages Your Child Needs, Work with an Experienced Dog Bite Attorney Today
Following a dog bite accident, focus on your child’s healing and recovery. The last thing you want to worry about is preparing legal arguments and handling this complex dog bite legal claim alone.
Fortunately, with an experienced dog bite attorney fighting for your child’s rights, you will not have to.
Once retained, these lawyers can:
- Determine if your child has a valid claim and figure out the legal options they can pursue.
- Investigate the incident and secure the evidence needed to prove what happened and who was at fault.
- Handle all the negotiations with the dog’s owner and the insurance company and go after a just settlement offer.
- Head to trial if the other side is unwilling to settle the case fairly, and fight for maximum financial recovery.
If a dog bite harmed your child, do not wait to retain the legal help you need. Instead, contact a skilled and knowledgeable dog bite attorney today for your free case consultation and let a dog bite lawyer show you how they can help you and your family.