Dog bites are a serious and growing problem. Pet ownership in America is at an all time high and dogs remain one of the most popular pets for American families. However, as dog ownership has increased, dog bites have also become more common and more serious. The most recent statistics show that over four million Americans are bitten by a dog each year and one in five dog bite victims will require medical attention, with over 1000 people a day requiring emergency room care. Over half of dog bite victims are children, with children between the ages of 5 and 9 being the most vulnerable.
While dog bites are on the rise, so are the associated costs. Insurance companies pay more than $1 billion in dog bite claims every year and the average cost of a dog bite claim is over $25,000, a number that has only increased in the last five years. Dog bite injuries can be traumatic, requiring expensive specialized medical treatment, like skin grafts, reconstructive surgery, and scar diminishment treatments. Additionally, some treatments require multiple procedures that may take a period of years to complete. But dog bite victims suffer far more than just physical injuries and scars. They may experience extreme emotional distress, neurological implications, and lasting psychological effects.
Because of the growing number and severity of dog bites and the associated rising costs, many communities have enacted dog bite statutes that cover a wide range of dog inflicted injuries, including bites. Most laws establish that owners are responsible if their dog bites another person. Some laws, often referred to as “one bite” laws are strict liability laws that make an owner responsible for a dog bite, regardless of whether the dog owner did anything wrong. If the owner knew or had reason to know that the dog had dangerous tendencies, i.e., had bitten someone before, then the owner is held strictly liable for the dog attack.
over 1000 people a day require emergency room care due to dog bites
Other dog bite laws rely on negligence, and an owner may still be liable for an injury caused by their dog, if the owner failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent their dog from injuring someone else, or failed to exercise control over their dog. Additionally, some statutes are breed specific, and an owner may be held strictly liable, simply based on the breed of their dog. The laws can be complex and if you’ve been injured by a dog a bite, the last thing you want to worry about is which laws apply to you and how to pursue your legal remedies and compensation. You want an experienced dog bite attorney who can help you navigate the laws and protect your interests.
A dog bite lawyer is one who knows the specific laws and statutes of your community. They can help you decide if you have a case and pursue legal action on your behalf to ensure that you receive just compensation for your injuries. An experienced lawyer can help make certain that the dog owner is held responsible. A lawyer can also communicate with insurance companies on your behalf to safeguard your rights and interests, while maintaining your well being.
Call an experienced Baltimore dog bite attorneys at Ingerman and Horowitz if you’ve been the victim of a dog bite. Having an experienced lawyer on your side will give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on your recovery. Your initial consultation is completely free and confidential. Call 1-800-776-4529 to speak with a lawyer today.