Dogs, cats, or other animals can be perfect companions and dutiful guardians of your home and family. You should never forget, though, that even close pets are also animals that act on instinct, making their behavior often times unpredictable. If you or a loved one were injured by a dog bite, or attacked by another animal, GARY STEWART SEFLIN, ESQUIRE can help you pursue the compensation you deserve from the owner of the animal.
Dog attacks, especially, are serious matters. A dog attack can result in physical and emotional scarring, trauma, disfigurement and other injuries that will stay with you or your loved one for the rest of your life. Dog bites are the most common types of animal attacks. If you or a loved one was attacked you may be entitled to compensation. A knowledgeable dog bite attorney, such as GARY STEWART SEFLIN, ESQUIRE may certainly be able to help you.
Dogs bite about 4.5 million people annually, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Approximately 885,000 people, or almost 1 in 5 of those who are attacked, require medical attention. Additionally, tens of thousands of people on an annual basis need reconstructive surgery as a result of their injuries.
Common dog bite injuries include:
- Nerve damage
- Facial and body scarring
- Puncture wounds
- Infections from the punctures or lacerations
- Bites to the hands, fingers or face
- Broken bones
- Damaged tissue and/or internal organs
- Mental and emotional distress
How Does the Law Protect Us from Dog Bites?
In Pennsylvania we have a statute, which states that dog owners are responsible for the conduct of their pet. This is called a strict liability standard and it applies whether or not the canine has exhibited any tendency to bite previously, although that is certainly a valuable piece of evidence.
Legally, dog owners have to take precautions like the following to reduce the likelihood of an attack:
- The dog must be securely kept upon your premises to curb straying
- Dogs must be confined to the property of the owner
- When owners are walking the dog or taking him for a run in the park, etc., the owners have a duty to keep their dog under “reasonable control” using a leash or other safety equipment
If you were on public property or legally entered private property and did not provoke the dog that bit you, you may be entitled to damages you sustained in the attack.
What is the Value of a Dog Bite Case?
The first step you should take after being bitten by a dog, or attacked by any other animal, is to seek medical attention. In addition to emergency treatment, sutures, stitches, or other measures, you may require shots to prevent rabies or tetanus.
After you have started recovery, GARY STEWART SEFLIN, ESQUIRE can begin investigating the attack and building a strong case on your behalf. Every animal attack case is different but you may be entitled to damages such as:
- Medical bills
- Medical bills for future treatment (potentially including plastic or reconstructive surgery if the bite led to disfigurement)
- Loss of income or loss of earnings, if you missed work while undergoing diagnosis or treatment for your injuries, or if your injuries left you disabled (either short term disability or long term disability) which prevented you, even for a small amount of time, from working or performing your usual duties and functions
- Pain and suffering
Children are Especially at Risk of Being Injured by Dog Bites or Animals
In dog attacks, children are especially at risk, with the rate of dog bite injuries being highest for the 5-9 year old age group. The CDC reports that children are more likely to receive medical attention for dog bites than adults. Children should be taught basic safety tips when interacting with dogs or any other animals, in order to avoid the risk of bites or attacks. Sometimes, though attacks are unavoidable because the dogs or animals in question are unpredictable, may be poorly trained or have a tendency for aggressive behavior. If a dog bite does occur, it is important to know what to do. Thus, if you have been bitten by a dog or injured in an animal attack, follow these important steps:.
- It is important to identify the dog that bit you or your loved one. You should also identify the owner of the dog - - this is critical. The information will be crucial if you decide to pursue a claim for injuries suffered as a result of the attack.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Contact or report the incident to the police immediately and/or your local animal control officer. Note the date you filed the report and the names of the people with whom you spoke.
- Photograph or take a video of any visible injuries you or your loved one sustained. You should take a video or photographs directly after the incident, and throughout all stages of the healing and recovery process. If possible, it is also a good idea to take photos or videos of the accident location and of the dog that bit you, but only if this does not put you in danger of the attacking dog.
- Call an experience attorney to begin the process of obtaining compensation for your injuries and losses suffered.
GARY STEWART SEFLIN, ESQUIRE will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding each individual dog bite case or animal attack in order to pursue justice and fair compensation for you or your loved one. We know dog bite incidents can be extremely traumatizing for injured victims; GARY STEWART SEFLIN, ESQUIRE is prepared to handle all aspects of your case so that you do not have to relive the nightmare of an animal attack
If You Have Been Bitten by a Dog or Attacked by an Animal, Seek Qualified Legal Help
GARY STEWART SEFLIN, ESQUIRE represents those injured by dog bites and you should contact GARY STEWART SEFLIN, ESQUIRE immediately, either online, via telephone, or facsimile, etc. As an experienced dog bite attorney, GARY STEWART SEFLIN, ESQUIRE can fight for your rights. Remember your initial consultation is always free, and you do not pay anything, unless we win for you!