The statistics for dog bites across the country are shocking but not unprecedented. Dog ownership has increased in recent years, and while there are many responsible dog owners, there are many irresponsible ones too. More dogs in homes and less responsibility have led to millions of dog bites each year, with 20 percent of all dog attacks resulting in medical attention.
While a dog bite can happen anywhere, nearly half of all incidents occur on the dog owner’s private property. Victims often believe they do not have options because of the location of the attack, but our Germantown personal injury lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, is here to tell you that you do.
Dog Bite Injuries Are Physical and Emotional
The most prevalent dog bite injury people discuss are physical injuries, but there are also emotional injuries you will contend with for the rest of your life. A dog bite can get complicated, no matter how small, with an infection. While humans cannot transfer diseases to animals, they can transmit diseases to us.
Immunocompromised people and children have the highest risk for a permanent and debilitating disease. Physical dog bite injuries include:
- Rabies infections
- Nerve tissue damage
- Skin wounds
- Broken bones
- Loss of limb
- Torn muscle tissue
Emotional injuries are no less significant than physical injuries. Emotional trauma will stay with a person for life, especially when the victim is a child. Some emotional dog bite injuries are:
- Nightmares or flashbacks
- Lower self-confidence or the need for isolation
Fatal injuries are most prevalent among children, with the odds at seven in ten. Additionally, half of all children’s dog bites are by a family pet or in a familiar place. Physical injuries, explicitly scarring, can stay with a child well past the physical recovery.
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Safety Tips Around Dogs
When a dog attacks, it is not your fault, and the owner should be aware of the dog’s affinity to biting. Since children are at the highest risk, it is essential to teach them safety tips, even around dogs they know.
Train your child not to approach unknown dogs without the owner’s permission. Remind your child to be gentle around all dogs, and understand that dogs can become aggressive during play. If they are approaching an unknown dog, they must wait for the owner to give instructions on how to pet or touch the dog.
One final note is that dogs are easily spooked, and you should approach cautiously but without fear. If they sense you are fearful, they are more prone to defend themselves by attacking.
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You Have Legal Options
No matter how or where the dog bite happens, you have legal rights. You will need to prove several elements to obtain compensation for your losses, but a Germantown dog bite lawyer will handle those complexities.
You will need to correlate the injury to the dog and show the defendant is the dog’s owner. Since there is a one-bite rule, you will also need to show that the owner knew or should have known about the possibility the dog would bite a person. You must also show that you did not provoke the dog and had a legal right to be at the location of the attack.
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Several parties, like the dog owner or landlord, can bear responsibility for a dog bite. If the dog was in the care of another person, like a dog sitter, they could also assume legal responsibility. Yes, landlords have a duty to protect all residents, and if there is an aggressive dog on the premises, they must take action to remove or warn residents.
When a dog bites another pet or animal or vice versa, there is no legal recourse available besides a possible property damage claim. Additionally, minor injuries like a scratch will not have the same impact or recovery as losing a limb.
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Benefits of Having a Dog Bite Lawyer in Germantown
There are many benefits of hiring a Germantown dog bite lawyer and aside from the legal protection a lawyer offers, there are other advantages. We will keep track of all of your medical appointments and ensure you are getting the care you need to recover from the incident. We will also gather all pertinent evidence and ensure you do not have additional stress.
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The Statute of Limitations
You have only one year to file a dog bite injury lawsuit so you must act fast. The benefit of having a Germantown dog bite attorney on your team is that you will not need to worry about deadlines or paperwork because your lawyer will handle the entire process for you.
Once the statute passes, you will need to handle the expenses independently and lose your ability to recover any compensation. The statute does not mean that is the timeframe in which you will resolve your case solely, the deadline to file a lawsuit.
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Many other intricacies come with dog bite injury cases, and you cannot leave it up to the dog owner and insurance company to fight for you. Your life and health are of the utmost importance, and you should not concern yourself with contacting insurance carriers, recovering evidence, or filing paperwork while you are injured. Since most bites occur in familiar areas, many victims do not seek justice, so they do not lose a friendship.
Instead, dog bite victims must put their faith in the right dog bite attorney in Germantown who will handle all the legal elements. Contact the experienced lawyers at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC.