Archive for the ‘ Dog Bite ’ Category

14
Jan

What Can I Do If I am Bit by a Dog?

January 14, 2019

While most people consider dogs to be “man’s best friend,” we still have to be very wary of our canine companions. According to a study reported by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.7 million dog bites occur in the United States each year, and about 800,000 of those bites result in medical care and treatment. That’s a pretty high number considering the U.S. population is currently 327.7 million. This means 1 out of every 69 people will be or have been bitten by a dog. Those odds do not work in our favor.

Steps to take if you have been attacked by a dogIf you or someone you love falls victim to a dog attack, do you know the proper steps to take to guarantee you receive fair and righteous treatment? A dog bite is a physically and psychologically traumatic event and you need to know your rights when it comes to health costs and other compensation. Unfortunately, some will not inform you on what you are entitled to monetarily or simply are not informed themselves. That’s where an experienced attorney like Stewart & Stewart come in—to relieve you and your family of the stress and time of having to dig for legal information.

First and foremost, you should see your local doctor. Visiting a doctor’s office (private physician or emergency room) will reduce the chance of infections and further complications to the injury. Outside of preventing infection, having your medical records updated and on hand will help add to your overall case. This information will be able to show what was damaged and how serious the bite was or could have potentially been.

Be sure to keep record of all medical expenses, including treatment, related receipts and prescription purchases. These expense records will help demonstrate how this incident has affected your life financially. Don’t forget to take clear photos of injured body parts. This is a step that can easily be forgotten, but it’s extremely important for visual evidence. If the injury requires follow-up appointments or surgery, take follow-up photos as well to track progression. You want to show a clear timeline of impact.

While often an unwanted step to take, one of the most important steps is to contact the dog’s owners, if there is one. Update them on your injuries and ensure you have the correct contact information—you’re going to want to hold onto their information for later. When the owner is known, it builds for a negligence case, meaning the owner knew an attack was a reasonable possibility and has to take responsibility for their animal’s actions. In cases where you are unsure of the dog’s owners, contact the local area’s police department so they can assist in the search for the owner.

Equally important is gathering all witness statements in detail; your attorneys will want to paint a picture of the incident and make it clear what occurred. These can be neighbors, household members in attendance, even the police officer who was first on the scene. Make note of important details such as if the dog was on a leash and how far they were from their residence. These details add context to the situation and give more depth to the scene.

If you go through this unfortunate ordeal, you’re going to want an attorney on your side that knows what to do and treats your case with the utmost care. Stewart & Stewart is your Indianapolis personal injury lawyer that has experience working with dog bite injuries and knows what’s best for their clients. For more information on what we can do for you, give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website today.

9
Jan

3 Types of Injuries Caused by a Dog Bite

January 09, 2019

Dogs are beloved by many—and for good reason: they provide companionship, love and friendship to their owners and those around them. But, there are still times when a dog may be irritated, improperly trained, or scared and it can result in injuries such as dog bites and attacks. Unfortunately, dog bites are more common than one may think, so it’s important to always remain cautious around animals you don’t know and to never put your face or hands in their face.

Common injuries sustained after a dog biteIt’s also smart to understand what can come of a dog bite. Many people may brush off the injury and never go to a hospital or doctor to get it checked out. This is usually a big mistake as dog bites and attacks can lead to serious health concerns. Here, we discuss three types of injuries caused by a dog bite.

Broken Bones

While it’s unlikely that a dog bite will lead to a broken bone on its own, it is likely that after a dog bite, a person may fall over, be victim to a more severe attack or trip and fall while trying to get away from the dog. This leads to broken or sprained bones and injuries that may require surgery, a cast or an emergency room visit.

Rabies

Rabies is a disease we are often told about but never experience ourselves. We habitually associate rabies with nocturnal rodents who roam our trash cans after we turn off our lights, but rabies is also very common with dogs, specifically stray dogs. Contracting rabies is easy—one must simply come into contact with the dogs’ saliva to be infected—and can lead to extensive health issues and even death if not treated in time. Even if you do not believe the dog who bit you had rabies, it is still important that you make sure with a doctor just in case. If a doctor is unsure if you contracted rabies or not, they will usually treat you proactively just in case since waiting to get your rabies treated can lead to death.

 

Emotional Scars

A dog bite can be traumatizing, no matter our age or love for dogs. For children, getting bit by a dog can lead to a lifetime of fear and the inability to be close to animals. For adults, it can cause emotional scarring and trauma such as PTSD that can follow them throughout their lives. Many people experience lack of sleep, nightmares, sweating and panic attacks after a traumatic event such as a dog attack and may need the help of a therapist or psychologist to get through it.

If you have been attacked or bitten by a dog, the first thing you need to do is go to the hospital. Many people fear that a dog will have to be put down following a bite, so if the bite is from their own dog or a dog they know, they fail to get their injury checked out. This leads to prolonged health issues and the possibility of allowing the dog to bite another person. If you were seriously injured by a dog, it’s important that you take the right steps to ensure that your medical bills are paid for, no matter how extensive.

The attorneys at Stewart & Stewart love animals, but we also know how important it is so keep our animals safe and well-trained so they do not lash out and bite other humans. If a dog does do this, the owners should be held liable for their inaction and negligence. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get through your injuries and receive the compensation you rightly deserve. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

 

23
Aug

Dog Bite? You May Be Entitled to Compensation.

August 23, 2017

Although rare, dog bites happen more often than you may think. If you or someone you love was bitten by a dog, you may not think much of it at first, but what seems like a minor injury could soon develop major consequences.

Because dogs have long sharp teeth, their bites can transfer huge amounts of bacteria deep into the skin. This can overwhelm the body’s immune system, putting victims like you at risk of suffering serious infections at the location of the bite or throughout the body. In some cases, infections caused by a dog bite can be even be fatal.

In addition, dogs’ sharp teeth can also cause muscle, ligament, and nerve damage, resulting in reduced mobility and even paralysis of the affected part of the body.

At Stewart & Stewart, we know Indiana’s laws regarding dog bites. We can build a claim designed to get you the money you deserve, including compensation for:

  • Medical bills – Serious dog bites require immediate medical attention. In severe cases, victims may even need prolonged stays in the hospital, surgery, and physical rehabilitation.
  • Lost wages – Dog bite victims may have difficulty using their arms, hands, fingers, legs, or feet. These injuries can make it difficult or impossible for them to go back to work, resulting in lost income.

If you or a loved one were the victim of a dog bite, don’t take the situation lightly. Get to the doctor right away, and get in touch with an experienced Indiana dog bite lawyer to protect your rights. Call or fill out our online form to get a free, no-obligation consultation with our legal team today.

2
Mar

Why You Should Report Dog Bites

March 02, 2016

Dog bites happen often in Indiana. Unfortunately, many of these incidents go unreported, and even fewer dog owners are held accountable for their aggressive animals. There are a number of reasons why victims don’t report dog bites to the police, such as they don’t want to cause trouble or have anything happen to the dog in question. Although that seems reasonable on the surface, failure to report a dog bite can lead to dangerous repercussions for others and the animal in question. Here’s why:

The Next Victim—Dog bites are rarely isolated incidents. If a dog attacks a human once, they’re sure to do it again. By failing to report the attack or hold the owner accountable, you are opening the door for future attacks on others. What if the next person the dog attacks is a child or an elderly person? Are you prepared to take that chance? We’re not.

Signs of Neglect—We don’t believe dogs are naturally aggressive. They are taught aggression by their owners. Whether the owner intentionally raises their dog to become a weapon or they unintentionally make them so through neglect or mistreatment, the dog is a victim as well. By not reporting a dog attack, you are enabling the owner to continue to treat his animals in this way, and that’s not okay.

If a dog has attacked you, do the right thing by reporting the attack to the police. Then give us a call to learn your rights. You can prevent future attacks by holding the owner accountable, and we’re ready to help you do just that. Call us today for a free consultation.