Every year, millions of people suffer dog bite injuries. Even though certain breeds of dogs have a reputation for being more dangerous, all types of dogs can cause serious dog bite injuries. Even a bite from a small dog can lead to a serious infection and require expensive medical treatment. Dog bites can cause victims to suffer severe pain and leave them with traumatic scars. Dog bite injuries can cause people to miss work, losing out on wages and prohibiting them from doing their job. If you have been injured as the result of a dog bite, talk to the experienced Philadelphia dog bite injury attorneys.
Dog Bite Injury Statistics
For many people in Philadelphia, dogs are treated as another member of the family. Dogs are our loyal companions, exercise partners, protectors, and offer comfort in our daily lives. Unfortunately, dogs can also be dangerous. Even normally mild-mannered dogs can bite a familiar hand if they feel threatened, frightened, or have an injury. On the other hand, some individuals negligently or actively raise dangerous animals that may be trained to be aggressive. When these dogs get loose, anyone can be a potential dog bite victim.
According to the Center for Disease Control, Every year, almost 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs. While many of these bites are not serious, Almost 20% of all dog bites become infected. If left untreated, dog bite infections can lead to permanent injury or even death.
Many dog bite victims are children, with the highest rate of bite-related injuries among young children aged 5 to 9. There are many reasons why children may be more susceptible to dog bites. Children are small, leaving their hands, faces, and limbs within easier reach of dogs. Children are also more curious around dogs and may approach a dog that an adult would leave alone. Children may also be unsure how to act around dogs and how to treat them, unintentionally frightening or harming a dog.
Injuries can include puncture wounds, broken bones, scarring, nerve damage, lacerations, or head injury. However, one of the primary causes for concern is infection. Any puncture wound can lead to an infection; however, dog bites also result in bacteria from the dog's mouth, teeth, or anything on the individual's skin being forced into the body. If a dog bite is not full cleansed and sterilized, it could lead to a serious injury and require hospitalization.
Philadelphia Dog Bite Laws
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has specific statutes that apply to dog bites and dangerous dogs. Under the “one bite rule,” injury victims can recover damages if the owner knows or should have known the dog had a propensity for violence, or if the dog had a history of violence.
Even if the dog had never bit anyone before, if the dog bites someone, their owner may be liable for all medical damages. If the dog bite injury is severe, including a broken bones or resulting in a disfiguring injury, the owner may be liable for medical expenses, as well as any other damages resulting from the injury. In these cases, the injury victim does not need to prove any history of the dog's aggression, only that the dog belonged to the owner.
While any type of dog can react by biting someone, some dogs have a reputation for being more dangerous. Pit bulls and rottweilers have a reputation for causing more fatalities than other dogs. These dogs are larger and more powerful than other types of dogs, so their bites may lead to increased damage. Additionally, some owners seek out these breeds and train them to be aggressive, turning an otherwise harmless dog into a dangerous animal.
Dogs bite for many reasons, including stress, perceived threats, threats to their owners or property, or even as a playful bite. However, the predominant factor in dangerous dog bites involves the sex of a dog. Almost 90% of dog bite fatalities involve male dogs, the majority of which have not been neutered.
Philadelphia Dog Bite Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one was injured in a dog bite accident, you should talk to an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney about getting compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Your personal injury attorney will help guide you through the claims process and advise you of your options. You should not have to suffer because of the dog owner's negligence. Do not hesitate to contact Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.