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Better to prevent dog bites than have to treat them

Posted on in Premises Liability

Injuries from animal bites can be traumatic, especially facial injuries. The most common such occurrences in the U.S. involve dog bites. Government statistics reveal that about 2 percent of all people in the country are bitten by man's best friend each and every year, many of them in California. All told, there are millions of injuries, some quite serious, resulting from dog bites.

Over the past 16 years, federal statistics also show, the number of people having to be hospitalized as a result of dog bite injuries has skyrocketed, increasing by 88 percent. The seriousness of such injuries can be seen from the startling fact that around 15 people each year actually die as a result of dog bites and their subsequent complications. And not all of the victims are children, by any means. About two out of thee are minors, but the rest are adults of varying ages. Children under the age of 5, however, do make up around 70 percent of those suffering facial injuries from dog bites.

Treating such injuries is tricky and expensive, and frequently involves the need for very expensive cosmetic surgery and facial reconstruction in addition to the initial medical treatment. Precautions also must be taken against rabies and other diseases and infections.

Accordingly, it is better to take precautions to try to avoid dog bite injuries to begin with. However, if you or a loved one have experienced a dog bite, you have the right to seek compensation through a premises liability lawsuit against the dog owner. Such lawsuits can be based upon negligence in harboring an animal known to have violent propensities or simply on the basis of owning an animal that violently attacked a person.

Source: Ravalli Republic, "Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to dog bite injuries," John Holtzen, Jan. 29, 2013

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