Dogs can make excellent companions for the entire family, but more and more often lately that ownership is resulting in dog bites and personal injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 4 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States each year. What’s more startling is that more than half of those victims are children, which could mean that the parents of those millions of children need to visit a dog bite lawyer.
Whether it’s an adult or child that gets bit, personal injury from a dog bite is not uncommon – about 800,000 Americans visit the emergency room each year for dog bites, according to the CDC. Again, more than half of those cases are children. This could be because dog owners do not always take care to choose the appropriate type of dog for their household, or because children are less practiced in proper behavior around dogs. In any case, dog bite attorneys can help sort out the facts of the case and determine if a personal injury from a dog bite is the result of negligence.
Data shows that in 2011 there were 62 legal claims of dog bites in Oregon resulting in paid compensation, according to an article in the Statesman Journal newspaper. More than $930,000 was paid by insurance companies to plaintiffs in those cases, a graph in the article shows. This is likely thanks to the work of dog bite lawyers in cities all over Oregon. Nationwide, other kinds of homeowner insurance payouts are bigger, but the Statesman Journal shows that, according to the Insurance Information Institute, “when it comes to liability, the cost of dog bite claims has risen 48 percent since 2003, even though the number of dog bites has remained roughly flat.”
If a child has already been bitten by a dog, parents should contact a personal injury lawyer to sort out the details of the case, and to work on the behalf of the family. However, there are several steps that can be taken to prevent a dog bite from happening. This list of basic dog safety is from the CDC Web site and is designed to keep kids safe around dogs:
- Do not approach an unfamiliar dog.
- Do not run from a dog and scream.
- Remain motionless (e.g., "be still like a tree") when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
- If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still (e.g., "be still like a log").
- Do not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.
- Immediately report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior to an adult.
- Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.
- Do not disturb a dog who is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
- Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.
- If bitten, immediately report the bite to an adult.
If you or your child has been bitten by a dog and you suspect that the dog owner was negligent, contact Dwyer Williams Potter Attorneys. With offices in Portland, Eugene, Bend, and Medford, Dwyer Williams Potter Attorneys can provide client advocacy all over Oregon. The lawyers at Dwyer Williams Potter Attorneys have helped get fair compensation for victims of dog mauling and dog bites throughout the state. You can contact them by calling 888-247-9023 or visiting www.RoyDwyer.com.