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Dog Bites

Maryland Dog Bite Lawyers

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Dogs are thought of as man’s best friend, and they generally live up to that title. It is a dog owner’s duty to train the animal properly and ensure that the dog will be living in an enclosed and secure area to prevent potential injury. However, there are still many instances wherein someone is injured or wrongfully killed because of a dog bite. Under state law, any dog owner who fails to exercise reasonable care in preventing someone’s injury or fails to properly control the animal can be held legally accountable for any injuries that the dog causes.

How Common Are Animal Attacks?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the U.S., with one in five of those bites requiring medical attention. Sadly, most dog bite victims who suffer serious injury are children. In some cases, the injury is so extensive that it requires reconstructive surgery and may leave a victim with permanent scars or disfigurement.

Some additional injuries that can be sustained from a dog attack include:

According to a study conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, there are thousands of emergency room visits and hospital stays related to dog bites every year. The costs of treatment are considerable: up to $18,200 for a hospital stay, a figure that represents 50 percent more than the average injury-related stay and doesn’t take into account the pain and suffering experienced by the victims.

What Should Be Done After a Dog Bite?

  • Obtain identification and contact information from the dog’s owner. You should identify the owner or caretaker of the dog, getting names and addresses in the event you need to contact them. Ask whether the dog is current on shots, especially rabies. Treatment for rabies is painful and expensive, and the shots are given in a series, which can be extremely inconvenient.
  • Seek appropriate medical treatment. If the dog bite is severe or you’re unsure about the status of rabies shots, seek medical treatment right away. You should either call 9-1-1 or head to the emergency room to have your wounds cleaned, disinfected, stitched up, or other appropriate measures. The risk of infection from a dog bite is high, and your injuries can be compounded if it does occur.
  • File proper documentation for a dog bite report. No matter how minor your injuries are, you should file a dog bite report with relevant authorities. This ensures the incident is legally documented, which provides support for your case when you pursue the dog’s owner for compensation.
  • Photograph your injuries. Your medical records will be important in any personal injury action against the dog’s owner, but take photos of your injuries as well. Include all wounds in your images, including lacerations, bruises, bite marks, and other injuries. You should also photograph any torn or bloodied clothing, and the location of the attack.
  • Start keeping a journal. Pain and suffering are a considerable factor in dog bite cases, and keeping a journal will support your legal claims. Take some time each day to record your level of pain, what you needed to do to treat your injuries, and your emotional state. Your case may take months – or even years – to settle or go to court, so the journal will help you recall your experience.
  • Consult with a Maryland dog bite attorney.

You need a qualified, experienced attorney to represent your interests if you’ve suffered injuries due to a dog bite. Costs of treatment are high, the pain may be severe, and you may even be out of work as a result of your injuries. Maryland law allows you to recover compensation for these losses, and a dog bite lawyer will ensure you get the highest amount allowable.

Contact the attorneys at Alpert Schreyer Poe to schedule a free case evaluation or ask any questions about dog bite cases in Maryland. Fill out our simple contact form or call us at (301) 812-4777.

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