Almost 35% of American households own a dog. Unfortunately, dog bites are a common occurrence. Nearly 5 million people are bitten by a dog each year. According to the Center for Disease Control, an American has a one in 50 percent chance of being bitten by a dog. One out of every six bites requires medical attention and 17 people a year are killed by a dog attack. Most of the victims of a dog attack are children under the age of 12, and 50% of dog bite fatalities are children under age 10. Because children are smaller than adults, dogs can do extensive damage to hands, arms, legs and faces.

If you or someone you care about has been attacked by a dog, you may have a legal right to seek compensation for your injuries.

You should take the following steps if bitten by a dog:

Seek immediate medical help and follow up as directed by your physician. Dog bites can be very dirty wounds and can lead to infections. This is a serious injury and can result in permanent scarring, significant infections or death.

Report the injury to local law enforcement.

Dog bite laws vary in different cities, counties and states. Generally, a victim can be compensated if a person’s negligence caused the attack, if a person violated a leash law, or if a person kept a dog that had a history of injuring people. However, if the dog attack was provoked, the victim likely will not be compensated for an injury. If there has been a significant injury, it is important to find out if the owner has homeowner’s or renter’s insurance and then to notify the relevant insurance carrier in a timely fashion.  If a claim is going to be asserted against an insurance company, it is important to find out what insurance company is involved and what the policy covers. It is also important to get statements from witnesses if anyone saw the attack and it may be necessary to talk to neighbors about the dog’s temperament. This type of investigation is something we do every day.

Call us at (336) 379-0539 or contact us to schedule a free, in-depth consultation with our experienced lawyers.