According to the Humane Society and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of reported dog bite cases in the US is well over 4.7 million. The majority of these cases are not serious, and the number of fatalities averages 16 deaths annually.
In most cases, the victims of dog bites tend to be children and the elderly, and they are usually bitten by dogs that are well known to them. The causes of dog bites vary widely, as do the types of injuries that are sustained. If one has suffered from a dog bite and needs help seeking compensation, they should approach The Keating Firm for the best Worthington dog bite lawyers.
The attorneys at The Keating Firm have seen all and done all when it comes to dealing with dog bite cases. It takes a passionate and empathetic personal injury lawyer to understand the pain and suffering that can be caused by a vicious dog bite. The years of experience and dedication dealing with personal injury cases in the Worthington area have seen a lot of victims awarded huge claims after having suffered from a dog bite. For a free consultation give us a call.
Causes of Dog bites
Before dog bites can be actively prevented, it is very important to understand why they happen in the first place. While the causes may seem varied at first glance, in the majority of dog bite cases, fear is the root cause. A dog will attack if it feels threatened, while at times, the victim's own fear will trigger an aggressive reaction that results in an animal attack. Here are some of the most common causes of dog bites:
As mentioned already, a dog can attack as a form of self-defense because it feels fearful due to the situation it is in, or due to the proximity of an unfamiliar person. Each animal has a fear threshold, and if this threshold is breached, the animal will feel overwhelmed by the situation and it will instinctively attack. Biting in this case is not meant to injure someone, but rather it is the dog's way of trying to create a relatively safe distance around itself.
When a dog in is pain due to sickness or injury, its tolerance level to certain stressful situations decreases rapidly. The dog feels vulnerable and irritable and any small action might be enough to provoke an aggressive reaction. Approaching the dog in such cases should be done slowly and carefully to prevent personal injury especially if one is not the dog's owner. Many personal injury clients report being bitten while trying to assist an injured animal.
A recurring form of a dog bite case is the result of unintentional bites due to an action called mouthing, whereby the dog explores and engages with a person using its teeth to gently nibble. At times the playing can get overly boisterous and the dog will get carried away and end up biting hard enough to pierce the skin.
Poorly trained dogs are usually the culprits of this type of biting behavior because they have not been taught how to restrain themselves. Children are the common victims because they are more likely to engage in enthusiastic play.
Surprising a dog that is unaware of the person's presence can result in an instinctive and defensive bite. These bites are common if a sleeping dog is suddenly woken up, and it will bite blindly while it is still disoriented, often surprising both the dog and the victim. Dogs who are older and have impaired vision and hearing are more likely to bite this way.
It is also advisable not to approach a dog from behind especially when they are eating. Dogs tend to focus entirely on their food and become defensive too in such circumstances. If possible a dog should be left to eat peacefully in open and unobstructed areas to ensure it remains calm at all times.
By nature, dogs are very protective animals and will do just about anything to protect their family members or their puppies. This protective instinct will become highly attuned, especially around puppies. A dog guarding her puppies is not to be approached by strangers in any circumstance. Even the dog's owner should practice caution and not exhibit any behavior that the dog might deem threatening.
Some dogs are so attached to their owners and their adoptive family that they take it upon themselves to protect them at all costs. In many cases, people have been bitten while just rough-housing with a dog's owner, and the dog misinterprets this as aggressive behavior.
A dog might become very frustrated in certain situations and usually will start growling and snapping as a way of getting out of the situation. This usually happens to dogs that are tied up most of the time and become frustrated out of boredom and the need to escape.
Dogs can also become frustrated when play becomes annoying and disruptive, as is the case when children continuously pull and prod a dog that is trying to sleep or is not in the mood to play. To prevent this, it is recommended to give a dog enough playtime and exercise so that it does not become easily frustrating.
Executing Owner's Command
A few instances of dog bites have been as a result of the owner telling the dog to attack either an unknown intruder or a person who the owner deems threatening. Some owners have been guilty of causing personal injury to others when they playfully tell the dog to attack and the dog does as it is bid. If you have been involved in an attack such as this, contact a Columbus dog bite lawyer for assistance!
Owners of guard dogs, large dogs, and generally aggressive breeds of dogs should always take extra caution when they have visitors or children who might come into contact with their dogs.
Types of Dog Bite Injuries
The extent of injuries sustained from dog attacks depends on factors such as the number of dogs involved, the duration of the attack, the relative size of the dog to that of the victim, and the level of training the dog has received. Some common dog injuries are:
Injury To The Face
Dogs may bite a victim's cheeks, ears, and nose, puncture the eyes, or cause general injury to the face. These injuries can leave permanent scars and may require multiple surgeries to resolve.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Falling to the ground or solid strikes and bites to the head can cause traumatic brain injuries and skull fractures. Large dog breeds are especially prone to causing this type of injury in victims.
Some bones can be broken by force when a large dog bites. The weight of a dog should not be underestimated, and young children or the elderly can easily suffer from broken bones when attacked by a large dog.
Dog's teeth can be quite strong and sharp, and their bites can leave deep puncture wounds on their victims.
The Law on Dog Bites in Worthington OH
A personal injury case can be made in the event of a dog bite, and in most cases, the dog's owner will be asked to pay damages. In Ohio, the law states that the dog's owner is held liable for damages for personal injury, death, or financial loss caused by the dog unless the victim was committing or attempting a crime, trespassing, or engaging in other unlawful activity. A good personal injury lawyer will ensure that damages are paid by the owner's insurance company.
Statute of Limitations For Dog Bite Cases
In Worthington OH, there is a statute of limitations regarding insurance claims in personal injury cases which is usually two years for a personal injury case and three years for a wrongful death claim. A personal injury lawyer will have the specifics, and in most cases, it is wise to get started on the claim process as soon as possible.
Other Worthington Practice Areas
Why Do You Need the Keating Firm?
In case of personal injury resulting from a dog bite, the first thing one needs to do is to acquire the services of a reliable personal injury lawyer like The Keating Firm. Dog bites lawyers can be a dime a dozen, but getting the best legal help to handle a particular claim on the victim's behalf is vital to their chances of success.
Among the law firms in Worthington OH, The Keating Firm is the best law firm to conduct a financial recovery claim for injury victims against the insurance company of the owner. Upon legal action, the insurance company will be liable to pay the injured party damages for personal injury, lost wages, and medical care. Other related practice areas besides Worthington OH include Columbus Ohio, Pennsylvania, Cincinnati, and Westerville.
The Keating Firm, unlike many dog bites lawyers, offers a free consultation for injury victims to discuss the nature of the personal injury insurance claim, at their Worthington OH law firm. Contact them today, even on behalf of a family member, speak to an experienced attorney, and get the ball rolling towards compensation as a result of dog bite injuries.