Man’s best friend can be affectionate, but also unpredictable, and dangerous if handled improperly and without caution. Dog bite personal injury lawsuits are on the rise as dog bites send more children to emergency rooms than any other youth activity, and go beyond domestic violence, burns and bone fractures.
The traumas child victims of dog bites face are severe with most bites to the neck and head areas, and are in some cases fatal; bites often require medical attention: stiches, rabies shots and in worst cases, plastic surgery. Along with physical trauma, child victims face post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mental trauma, often requiring years of counseling.
50% of dog attacks to children occur within the home or child’s neighborhood. Some dog attacks are the result of provocation; pulling on the dog, hitting it with an object, taunting or any other aggressive behavior. Defense of provocation is useful for the dog owner to overcome the claim of negligence, but with young children, this is much less valuable; young children are not able to comprehend that unintended taunting/provocation of a dog can lead to an attack on them.
Dog owners and parents of young children need dog and child safety education; this can make a difference between a passive interaction between a child and dog or a fatal injury.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend preventative safety measures for children and dogs; these include:
- Do not disturb a dog while its eating, sleeping or caring for her puppies.
- Avoid direct eye contact with unknown dogs; do not approach them.
- Don’t run away from an unfamiliar dog but remain motionless when approached.
- Children should not play with a dog without adult supervision.
- If knocked down by a dog, roll into a ball and lie motionless.
- Report stray dogs or dogs acting unusual to local animal control.
Dog owners are legally responsible and obligated to prevent their dogs from biting others. If you are seeking to file a dog bite lawsuit for an attack on your child, you need the best strategy and representation for your case. Parvey & Cavenago are experienced personal injury attorneys that negotiate substantial compensation with insurance companies and will stand up with you to defend your right to the resources needed for your child to recover, and you to handle the damages.