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Dog and Animal Bites

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on December 13, 2013

angry-bull-mastiff-hanging-out-window-wt-johnsonFor every awesome, responsible dog owner, there are people who are unfit to train and raise dogs. I believe that human interaction and training is the main cause of a dog or pet acting out violently. Unfortunately, when these dog owners instill a status quo of aggression within an animal, it can affect others in negative ways. Often times, unsuspecting people or children are preyed upon by the ill raised dogs. If you get attacked by a dog there are techniques that you can do to prevent, or lessen the damage of a dog attack. Below are some helpful tips to keep in mind for when you’re walking in the park and a dog begins to attack you. Also, once the attack has taken place there are certain measures that should be taken to treat the wound. Below I cover various things that should be done after an attack. Finally, if you feel that you’d like to take legal action because the dog bite has affected you in a serious way, listed below are various legal grounds that can be stood upon by a prosecuting attorney in the case of a dog or animal attack.

What to Do if You’re Attacked

Stay Calm

Most importantly, keep calm and don’t panic. If you panic, you’ll make mistakes and be more prone to serious injury. Dogs are better at reading emotions than humans realize. If you are scared, the dog will know and will be more prone to exploiting your fear with aggression.

Stand Your Ground

Keeping the last tip in mind, look confident and stand your ground. This will help you have a more “alpha” appearance. The dog will pick up on this, but be convincing! If this doesn’t work and the dog lunges at you, you need to fight back. Fight back by using your weight as an advantage. Dropping all your weight on your knee or elbow to the dogs vitals will really let them know that you mean business. Do not run, you will lose in a foot race. If you’re taken down at a full sprint, you will not only be bitten, but you’ll also sustain injuries from the fall.

Protect Vital Areas

If the dog gets a hold of you, be sure to protect your face, neck and chest. If bitten or mauled in any of these areas, the potential for severe damage is very high.

Seek Proper First Aid Afterwards

After you’ve hopefully escaped the attack, make sure that you clean and dress the wounds properly. If severe injury was sustained, call an ambulance immediately. Once you are stabilized, be sure to report the attack to the proper authorities. If the dog has an owner, the attack was their fault due to a multitude of possible reasons.

How to Treat a Dog Attack Wound

If you’ve just been attacked by a dog and you have an open wound, you may have quite a few minutes before an ambulance shows up to administer first aid. If you have severe bleeding as a result, make sure to use the cleanest article of clothing you have to apply pressure to the wound. If it bleeds through, don’t remove the bandage, just keep adding more and more wrapping until the bleeding begins to slows down.

Sources of Compensation for Dog/Animal Bites

Medical Treatment

The dog’s owner or the person who was handling the dog may be liable for the medical expenses that you’ve accrued from injuries from the dog attack. These expenses include:

  • hospitalization
  • emergency room care
  • surgery
  • follow-up doctor visits pertaining to the bite injury

Also, due to the emotional damage one could hypothetically sustain due to an animal attack, the animal’s owner could also be liable for psychiatrist, therapist or mental counselor bills.

Disfigurement

If your body is altered severely from the attack, then due compensation may be an option. Disfigurement includes extreme scarring and loss of limb or use of a body part. Based on the extent of the damage, the owner of the dog could be responsible for disfigurement compensation.

Physical Impairment

If the injury sustained from the attack has caused you to lose motor function or dexterity, causing you to have a lot of difficulty performing routine tasks, you may be owed compensation. Similarly to disfigurement, physical impairment compensation from the attack will be based on the severity of your limited movements and independence.

Lost Wages

If you work or own your business and the injuries you’ve sustained are preventing you from returning to work, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages or profits. Only if the victim is completely certain that they have to miss work, they are entitled to compensation. Jobs that require free movement and athleticism are most likely to be covered, such as construction work or law enforcement.

Mental or Emotional Stress

Like stated above in the “medical treatment” section, a victim of a dog or animal attack is likely to sustain emotional or mental injuries as well. It isn’t uncommon for a victim to stress out over the continuing anxieties that manifest after a traumatic event. If you are experiencing mental suffering from an attack, you’re entitled to compensation.

Loss of Consortium, Society and/or Loss of Household Services

If you are closely related or married to a victim of a dog or animal attack, you may be entitled to compensation due to loss of consortium or loss of society. Loss of consortium is the damages sustained when a relationship between a husband and wife are damaged; Loss of society is the damages sustained when a relationship between a parent and child are damaged. Lastly, loss of household services is the help around the house that has been lost or limited due to a member of the houses dog attack injuries. Depending on weather or not the attack resulted in death or disablement, these losses may or may not be recovered.

Death

This one speaks for itself really. Wrongful death entitles monetary recoveries to the family of the victim due to irreplaceable loss of human life.

Dogs make great, lovable pets with the right upbringing and training, but due to bad dog owners, aggressive dogs are inadvertently produced. If you or someone you know has sustained injuries from a dog or animal attack, please do not hesitate to contact the professionals at W.T. Johnson to fight for your future. They’ll work their hardest to see to it that justice is served!

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If you would like to discuss your claim with a member of our team, don’t hesitate to call us at (214) 231-0544. We’re ready to help you, and won’t rest until you receive the settlement you deserve.

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