Dog bite injuries can occur without warning. Many individuals and families in the Lowcountry love their canine companions. Yet dogs are always capable of inflicting serious bodily injury on others.
Senior citizens and children are the two groups of people that are most likely to suffer dog bite injuries. All dog owners should make sure to keep their dogs on a leash when they are out in crowded areas. Some individuals may adopt a dog and be unaware of the dog’s violent propensities.
The Shelly Leeke Law Firm, LLC has more than a decade of experience representing clients in dog bite injury cases. It can be difficult to know where to turn if you suffer a dog bite injury while you are going about your day. Speaking with a knowledgeable Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer can help you learn more about the legal options available to you.
The Most Common Types of Dog Bite Injuries
Dogs are capable of causing serious bodily injury. The CDC no longer tracks dog bite injuries. However, independent sources are dedicated to collecting state and national data.
How Many People Are Injured by Dog Bites Each Year?
According to national dog bite sources:
- Nearly 1,000 people are treated in the ER for dog bite injuries every day
- More than 4.5 million people are seriously injured by dog bites each year
In the last reporting year, there were more dog bite fatalities recorded than ever before. According to data, 81 people lost their lives in dog attacks.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Sometimes dog bites can cause permanent injuries that require lifelong medical treatment. The following are some of the most common types of dog bite injuries suffered by injured victims:
- Bacterial infections
- Puncture wounds
- Severe lacerations
- Injured ligaments
- Bone fractures
Many other types of injuries may occur due to a dog bite. The owner of the dog may also be liable for the injuries a victim suffers while attempting to flee from an attacking dog. Many dog bite accident victims do not realize the extent of their injuries until they are in a safe place away from the dog that attacked them.
It is important to document the injuries you suffer due to a dog bite. Photographs, videos, and injury journals can all be helpful forms of evidence in a dog bite injury case. It may be necessary for you to be assessed by different medical specialists so your injuries do not become more severe.
Damages in Dog Bite Injury Cases
The types of damages an injured victim can claim in a dog bite injury case will depend on the nature and extent of their injuries. However, many dog bite injury cases feature the same types of damages claims.
Damages are generally divided into economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages include lost wages, medical bills, and lost future earnings. Non-economic damages are more subjective and include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. The following are some of the most common types of damages claimed in dog bite injury cases:
- Long-term medical treatment
- Prosthetic devices
- Medical equipment
- Physical therapy
- Rehabilitation services
- Medical testing
- Hospitalization costs
- Physician’s fees
- Lost future earnings
- Lost wages
- Emotional distress
- Psychological suffering
- Physical pain
- Loss of enjoyment of life
This is not a comprehensive list of the types of damages dog bite injury victims can claim. Every dog bite case is unique, and the facts of each case often dictate which types of legal claims can be brought against the defendants.
Suing Multiple Parties
It is also possible that many claims can be brought against multiple parties. You may have suffered injuries at an apartment complex or in a retail store. If so, the legal entities that own or lease the property may be liable to you for your injuries.
A Myrtle Beach dog bites lawyer will perform research and determine if the owner or occupier of land had a duty to provide a warning or to make an area safe from harm. Having an experienced dog bites lawyer in Myrtle Beach on your side can help you determine which parties may be liable for your injuries.
The Steps to Take After Suffering a Dog Bite Injury in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Suffering a dog bite injury can be traumatizing. Many individuals suffer dog bites when they are petting a dog or approaching a dog that is unfamiliar to them. Also, going near a dog’s toys or food can also cause a dog to react violently.
The following are the steps an injured victim should take after a dog bite:
- First, document the attack by filing an official report with the local animal control organization in your area.
- Second, contact a local law enforcement agency to report the incident.
- Third, reach out to the dog’s owner to obtain their name, address, and telephone number. If the dog is alone, then you should photograph the dog and seek out the contact information of all witnesses who observed the incident.
- Fourth, seek immediate medical treatment if you are suffering from severe bodily injuries. If you have minor injuries, then you should schedule an appointment to see your primary care physician.
You may not believe you suffered serious bodily injuries during the attack, but it is possible that noticeable symptoms may not appear until weeks or months after the date of the injury. Therefore, it is always best to go to the hospital or make an appointment with a general practitioner after a dog bite injury. Also, photographing your injuries and keeping an account of the progression of your injuries can strengthen your dog bite case.
Contact the Shelly Leeke Law Firm, LLC Today
If you need to speak to a dog bites attorney in Myrtle Beach, reach out to the Shelly Leeke Law Firm, LLC. The sooner you retain a dog bites injury lawyer, the sooner medical records, police reports, and other documents can be used to substantiate your legal claims.
We have over a decade of experience representing clients in dog bite injury cases. We understand how difficult it can be to deal with the trauma and pain associated with being the victim of a dog bite, so you can rest assured that the Shelly Leeke Law Firm, LLC will protect your interests and enforce your legal rights. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your dog bite injury case.