Dogs bite about 4.5 million Americans each year
Dogs are often referred to as “Man’s Best Friend,” unfortunately dogs are animals, animals are unpredictable, and animals often bite, causing potentially devastating injuries. In reality, domestic dogs bite about 4.5 million Americans each year, half of which are children between the ages of 5 and 9. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in five (20%) of these dog bites lead to an injury requiring medical attention. Although strays or other strange dogs can be the culprits, most attacks are caused by a familiar dog, such as a friend’s pet or even the family dog.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a dog bite, you have a right to pursue fair compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, and other financial losses. With more than 22 years of legal experience, our Bothell, Mill Creek, Edmonds, and Lynnwood personal injury lawyers know what it takes to successfully recover the money you deserve.
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What compensation can dog bite victims recover?
If you have been bitten by a dog, you are entitled to recover fair and adequate compensation for losses and damages. These might include a broad range of damages suffered by the victim. The two main areas of harm are economic damages and non-economic damages, which can include:
- Medical expenses
- Costs to transport for medical reasons
- Future medical costs for surgery or plastic surgery for scars
- Loss of past, current or future income
- Defensive measures like erecting a fence
- Counseling expenses
- Pain and treatment of the injury
- Psychological suffering when encountering dogs or remembering the incident
- Humiliation caused by scarring
- Diminished quality of life because of a disability
Most homeowners insurance policies in Washington cover dog bites
Policies usually have “medical payments” coverage to help pay for medical bills incurred as a result of a dog bite until the case is resolved. Medical payment is no-fault coverage. In addition, most homeowner’s liability policies will pay the general damages for pain and suffering caused by a dog as well. By talking with an experienced attorney, you will benefit by having a full evaluation of all possible insurance coverages and liable parties may be for your claim. So it is very important to discuss all your options with a dog bite attorney as soon as possible.
Tips to prevent dog bites
There are many collisions and natural disasters that can’t be prevented, but there are other things for which you can take precautions, even dog bites. Below are some things you can do that will give you a very good chance of preventing an incident where you may be attacked or injured by a dog.
- If you are selecting a family pet, try to choose one that has a good temperament.
- In general, do not go near or approach any dogs you don’t know.
- Do not leave small children in the presence of a dog unsupervised — especially if the dog is unfamiliar to the child.
- Do not attempt to play with any dog that is trying to eat or is a mother feeding her puppies.
- When approaching a dog, move slowly, and give the dog an opportunity to approach you. Extend a hand under the dog’s nose to allow it to sniff you first.
- If a dog grows aggressive, avoid running away or screaming. Remain calm, make slow movements, and don’t make eye contact with the dog.
Seek legal assistance today
We would all hope that everyone would take responsibility for his or her own actions, or the actions of his or her pets. Nobody wants to start a legal battle with his or her neighbor, but we would all hope our neighbors, friends or family members would do the right thing if their dogs caused trauma to another person. Unfortunately, not everyone makes the right choice.
If you have been attacked, or bitten by someone else’s dog and the owner is not taking responsibility by compensating you for your medical needs, or worse – they are not taking action to prevent further attacks, contact Soloman Law today. As Bothell, Mill Creek, Edmonds and Lynnwood’s most aggressive plaintiff’s law firm, you can trust that we have the experience and resources you need.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.