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What to Do if a Dog Bites a Child in Indiana

Dog attacks and dog bites can be traumatic experiences for anyone, but they can be especially traumatizing and tragic when children are involved. Common Dog Bite injuries cause trauma for the child and it can be scary and overwhelming for the parent as well. No parent wants to imagine their child being attacked and bitten by a dog, but no matter what you do to protect them, these incidents still happen—especially when the attack is the result of a negligent dog owner.

If a dog bites a child in Indiana, our team of compassionate Indianapolis dog bite attorneys at Crossen Law Firm can help. We understand how emotionally-charged and difficult these situations can be and are here to help you pursue maximum compensation for your child’s injuries and suffering.

Why Do Dogs Bite Children More Often?

More than 4.5 million people are attacked and bitten by dogs each year in America, over half of which are children. Children—especially younger children—are far more likely to be bitten than adults, and they are also more likely to be severely injured.

There are many reasons why young children get bitten by dogs more often, which can include the following:

  • Children don’t understand how to behave around dogs
  • Children are more likely to approach an unfamiliar dog without caution
  • Children play with dogs in a way that the dog might misinterpret as aggressive
  • Children are more likely to taunt and tease dogs, whether intentionally or not
  • Children can get very excited and energetic around dogs, which can scare or overwhelm the animal
  • Children do not know how to easily recognize cues that a dog might be aggressive or anxious

Common Dog Bites In Children

Because children are smaller and lower to the ground, they are more likely to be targeted by a dog. And if a dog bites a child, the injuries also tend to be more severe because they are not as strong and not as capable of fending off the aggressive dog. Dog bites on children’s faces, for example, are especially common because young children often stick their faces in the face of dogs because they don’t know any better.

Other common dog bite injuries in children include:

  • Bites on the arms and legs
  • Hand injuries
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Crushed bones
  • Tissue and nerve damage
  • Severe puncture wounds and bruising
  • Concussions (if the dog knocks the child over)

One major concern with dog bites is that they can carry diseases like rabies and are more likely to cause infected injuries, which is why getting medical care right away is crucial. Dog bites can also leave a child severely scarred and disfigured, especially if their face was bitten.

Children are also much more likely to develop PTSD after being attacked and bitten by a dog, which can lead to long-term psychological problems that can hinder development. Dog attacks that are especially vicious can also result in amputation, leaving the child disabled. And in the worst cases, a dog bite can lead to complications and death. 

How to Prevent Dog Bites in Children

While dog owners in Indiana can be held liable for a dog bite and have a duty to restrain their dog, it’s important for parents with young children to also do what they can to prevent these incidents from happening.

Tips to prevent dog attacks and dog bites in children include:

  • Always supervise young children (2 years old and under) when they are around ANY dog, even one they are familiar with
  • Do not allow your child to approach an unfamiliar dog without the owner’s permission
  • Do not allow your child to reach through or over a fence to pet a dog
  • Teach your child how to remain calm around dogs
  • Do not let your child hug or kiss a dog
  • Teach your child to never approach a dog from behind
  • Teach your child not to mess with a dog when it is sleeping, eating, sick, or injured
  • Help your child understand how to recognize when a dog is being aggressive or wants to be left alone

What to Do If Your Child is Bitten By a Dog in Indiana

The steps you take following a dog attack can play a crucial role in your child’s recovery and how the dog attack case plays out if you are seeking compensation.

If your child is bitten by a dog, you should:

  1. Call 9-1-1 immediately if the injuries are severe or take them to an emergency room yourself if you can.
  2. Find out who the owner is (if not present) and get their contact information and the dog’s vaccination records.
  3. If there were any witnesses, you should get their information as well so they can be called upon if needed to give a statement about what happened.
  4. Report the dog attack to the police (and call animal control if the dog is roaming free without an owner around).
  5. Take photos of the injuries and the dog and anything else that might be relevant to what happened, such as a broken gate that the dog escaped through.
  6. Contact a dog bite attorney to help you file your claim and recover compensation.

Consult an Indianapolis Dog Bite Lawyer

If your child was bitten by a dog, and suffered one of these common dog bite injuries get in contact with someone from our team as soon as possible. Dog attack cases can be challenging, especially if there is not a lot of evidence to prove what happened. So it’s important to file a claim and deal with the case immediately before any evidence is gone.

Our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys can review your claim, offer you guidance, ensure the negligent dog owner is held liable, and help you recover a high-value settlement to help pay for your child’s injuries and other potential damages.

To schedule a free consultation with one of our Indianapolis dog bite attorneys, call (317) 401-8626 today or contact us online.