Those of us who have dogs want to believe that every dog is as gentle and well-behaved as ours. However, some dogs, for a variety of reasons, aren't. Dog bites can occur if a dog is frightened or startled, if the dog is protecting its owner or property or because it has been abused in the past and is fearful of humans.
The bottom line is that dog owners are responsible for their animals. If a dog bites someone, the owner can be held legally and financially responsible.
At Greene & Schultz, we work to hold people accountable for the harm that their animals do. If an owner has homeowner's or premises liability insurance, settlements are often made with those insurers. However, we can take civil action against dog owners even if they don't have this type of insurance to secure the compensation you need to cover things like:
-- Medical care
-- Plastic/reconstructive surgery
-- Physical therapy/rehabilitation
-- Psychological care
-- Lost wages
We can also seek other damages for things like trauma and pain and suffering.
Children are particularly susceptible to dog bites because they are more likely to approach a dog they don't know than an adult would. Sadly, they're also the most likely to suffer serious injury - - both physical and psychological -- from a dog bite or attack. This is particularly true with large dogs, simply because they can do more damage. However, little dogs can be more skittish and even a bite from a small dog breed can cause serious injury.
Of course, it's best to avoid being bitten at all. Teach your kids to be careful not to approach dogs they don't know unless the owner is there and says it's OK. Then it's important to approach carefully. Sudden moves, even if they're meant to be playful, can scare a dog.
With Halloween just days away, these precautions are particularly important. Dogs may not recognize kids they know when they're in costume. They may also be more likely to escape the house when the door is opened for trick-or-treaters.
Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, a dog will bite or attack. If you or a loved one has been bitten, call us for a free consultation to discuss your case. We don't charge you any attorney's fees unless and until you receive compensation.