Dog bites are very common in the United States. On average, over four million people are bitten by dogs each year. Nearly a million of those people suffered an injury severe enough to require medical attention. Most concerning, however, is that roughly 80% of dog bite victims are children under 10. In fact, dog bites are one of the most common causes for visits to the emergency room by children.
There are a number of reasons why a child is more prone to attack from a dog. Children are at the animals eye level and are seen by the dog as less of a threat than an adult. Also, children, unaware of the danger, are more likely to taunt or tease animals which results in an attack.
A dog bite can have serious and permanent consequences. As dogs are prone to attack the face, it is quite common for a child to suffer facial scarring and/or injury to the eyes. In fact, one study indicated that when very young children (under 4) are attacked by dogs, injury to the eyes occurs in about 15% of cases.
It is imperative to exercise caution when your child is around dogs. It does not matter if it is a strange or familiar dog as statistics suggest that children are most often attacked by the family pet. The laws in Rhode Island and Massachusetts are strongly in favor of the dog attack victim and the owner of the pet may be responsible if your child is attacked. Like other personal injury claims, the victim of a dog attack is entitled to:
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Lost wages or loss of earning capacity;
- Money for scarring or permanent disfigurement;
- Pain and suffering.
My office has represented many dog bite victims ranging in injury from the mild to very serious. Among those clients were children who suffered permanent injury. If your child is attacked by a dog and injured, contact our office right away for a free consultation so that we can discuss your child’s rights.