In 2003, the average dog bite claim was $19,162. In 2009, the cost rose to $24,840, according to the Insurance Information Institute. 1 of every 6 dog bite injuries requires medical care; 1 of every 14 requires emergency care. In California, the owner of the dog is responsible for injuries and damages that their pooch inflicts, regardless if the dog is off property or on property.
Dog Bite Insurance
The usual method of getting medical reimbursement is through the dog owner’s homeowners insurance policy. If the dog owner is a renter and uninsured, the victim may be out of luck as far as insurance is concerned. Owners of breeds that inflict the most damage, pit bulls and rottweilers, often do not have insurance because many insurance companies do not insure these breeds. That said, the owner is still liable.
If hospitalization is required after the attack, the victim can expect to stay 3 to 4 days in emergency care. If surgery is required, as it often is for attacks that involve facial and bone injuries, a victim’s first night in care can easily reach $20,000. The victim may actually think they have to pay these bills, however, per California law, the dog’s owner is responsible.
More Dog Bite Statistics
According to the CDC, most dog bites consist of puncture (40%), laceration (25%) and contusion (6%) wounds. Repairing bone damage of crushing and fracture injury often requires multiple operations and physical therapy. When nerve damage occurs, the victim may suffer permanent loss of feeling in parts of a limb, and in worst-case scenarios, complete loss of use of a limb.
Wounds inflicted by dogs can be overwhelming, especially to children. The small height of a child almost always results in facial wounds. Repairing these wounds usually requires reconstructive surgery. Techniques such as grafting and microsurgical repair need multiple operations over time. Cosmetic surgery treatments also require multiple procedures.
Dog Bite Liability
Nearly all dog bite victims suffer psychological damage, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Even with treatment, fear of another attack may never fade. Each time a victim walks down a sidewalk, strolls through a park or visits a dog owner’s home, the trauma returns. There are stories of senior citizens, who never leave their home again after a dog bite attack.
A dog bite victim frequently knows the owner of the dog, who may be a neighbor, relative or friend. Many dog owners deny the seriousness of injury inflicted or blame the victim for the attack. While blaming the victim is a universal phenomenon, it is nearly always the case in dog attacks; another reason to contact a dog bite attorney.
When to Contact a Los Angeles Dog Bite Lawyer
Regardless of the relationship between the owner and the victim, it is still important for the victim to contact a animal attack attorney in order to secure his or her rights. Our Los Angeles dog bite attorneys do not charge a fee upfront, we only get paid if you get paid. It’s a win-win situation. if you have been the victim of a dog bite, please call 877-702-7274 to speak to an experienced lawyer today.
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