Why Do I Need a Lawyer Following a Dog Bite?
Determining who is at fault is complicated. As a victim, you don’t want to create a hostile relationship between you and the dog owner. However, you may also require medical attention and the cost of a one-time hospital visit can be extremely expensive. For those and other reasons, it’s necessary to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who’s represented victims of dog bites.
Hiring a dog bite attorney with experience will not only give you peace of mind that you took the right step, but it will also save you from paying costly medical bills using your own money. Lawyers are:
- Knowledgeable in laws regarding dog bites in the state
- Able to easily determine who is responsible
- Able to offer insight into ramifications for dog owners
If you or your child were recently bitten by a dog in the El Paso County or in New Mexico, the Law Office of Javier Martinez, Jr. can assist you with filing a claim against the dog’s owner. Cases involving dog bites are never easy, but we do our part to make the process as simple and straightforward as possible. We are happy to answer your initial questions and explain what you can expect from our legal team. At our law firm, knowing what to expect is only a phone call away.
Statistics Regarding Dog Bites
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.5 million Americans, half of whom are children, suffer from a dog bite on an annual basis.
- About 900,000 of victims require medical attention.
- In 2015, plastic surgeons saw more than 28,000 reconstructive surgery procedures because of dog bites.
- For emergency rooms, dog bites were the fifth most cited reason for visits.
- Since the 1980s, the number of dog bites, as well as their severity, has risen. From 1993 to 2008, there was an 86 percent increase in hospitalizations.
- The average cost of treatment is $18,500, while some bills were as high as $30,000.
- About 43 percent of hospitalizations were treated for skin and underlying tissue infection. Roughly 22 percent of wounds were to the legs and arms. Other areas included the head, neck, and torso.
- Fifty percent of attacks take place at the dog owner’s property. The majority of victims are either a friend or relative of the dog owner.
What to Do When A Dog Bites Your Child
Dogs will bite for several reasons. Generally, aggression takes place because of stress, fear, anxiety, or arousal. Dogs have different levels of thresholds that prevent or encourage them to attack. The high energy and loud noise of children tend to make dogs stressed and frightened. As a result, unfortunately, dogs will bite as a way of displaying their anger or fear.
Here’s what you should do if a dog bites your child:
- If damages appear severe, report the incident to police.
- Gather the dog owner’s name and insurance information.
- Seek medical attention immediately.
- Take pictures of the bites and document the event as it played out in a written or verbal format.
- Contact a dog bite attorney to explain your case.
Ways to prevent attacks:
- Do not approach unfamiliar dogs, even if they appear to be friendly.
- Do not leave children alone with dogs.
- Never disturb a dog while it’s eating, sleeping, or attending to its puppies.
- Report loose dogs to your local animal control center, especially those who exhibit unusual behavior.
- If an unknown dog approaches you, do not pet it.
Common Injuries or Illnesses Caused by Dog Bites
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Infections from scratches, cuts, and lacerations
- Damage to the nerves, tissues, bones, and tendons
- Emotional trauma
- Capnocytophaga bacteria.
- MRSA also known as a staph infection
If a Dog Has Bitten You or Your Child, Please Contact Us Today
Filing a claim is extremely important. Most cases are settled out of court but can become stressful for those involved. Having a third party to offer clarity can make a world of difference. When you’re not sure how to handle the situation, contact the Law Office of Javier Martinez, Jr., P.C. We represent victims in the El Paso County as well as cities across New Mexico. Even minor injuries may require a form of medical treatment. Get the assistance you need to afford treatment.