Approximately 4.5 million dog bites happen in the United States every year, and a significant portion of these become infected. An infection can lead to health problems, ultimately resulting in expensive and accumulating medical bills. If you or your child suffered the physical or emotional trauma that followed a dog attack in New York, you should know your legal options regarding financial compensation.
Who is at risk?
It is no surprise that statistics indicate that children are more susceptible to dog bites than other age groups. Children are often unaware of the risk of approaching loose, unleashed or unfamiliar dogs. Kids in the age range of five to nine years old are the most likely to experience an attack, and, interestingly, men are more likely than women to suffer from a dog bite.
The potentially serious consequences of a dog bite
For many people, a dog bite is much more than an inconvenience; it is a serious threat to their long-term health and well-being. Animal bites carry a great risk of infection, and even a small puncture wound can have detrimental consequences. Some of the most common ways that a dog bite can cause harm include:
- Damage to tendons or ligaments
- Blood loss
- Emotional trauma
After or during an animal attack, experts advise that victims should remain calm and do things such as curling themselves into a ball if they are knocked down. However, victims of an unexpected attack may find it difficult to stay calm and think clearly, struggling to get away and perhaps suffering from further physical injury.
It is common for dog bite victims to also suffer from broken bones, head injuries and damage to wrists and knees, often sustained while fighting back or attempting to get away from the dog.
Who is responsible when an animal causes harm?
You have grounds for a civil claim in instances in which dangerous property conditions or the negligence of another party played a role in your pain and suffering. In cases involving dog bites, your claim could name any of the following as liable parties:
- Owner of the animal
- Property owners
It is worthwhile to explore your options and determine if you have a rightful claim to compensation. No amount of money can undo what you or your child suffered, but you have the right to restitution for medical bills and other trauma resulting from a dog bite.