Dogs are known for their loyalty, companionship, and playfulness but can also cause serious harm if not properly trained or supervised. Dog bites can result in significant physical and emotional damage that may require medical attention and legal action. A dog bite lawyer can help you understand your legal options and navigate the complex legal process. They can provide the support and guidance you need to focus on your recovery and move forward after a traumatic incident.
According to the American Pet Products Association, approximately 63.4 million dogs were owned in the United States in 2020. With so many dogs living among us, incidents of dog bites and attacks are bound to happen. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs in the U.S. every year, with about 800,000 of those bites requiring medical attention. Despite these numbers, it’s important to note that the vast majority of dogs never bite or attack humans, and responsible pet ownership and proper training can significantly reduce the risk of dog bites and attacks.
A scale developed by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers is a useful tool in assessing the severity of a dog bite based on an “objective evaluation of wound pathology.” Dog bites can be classified into six levels, ranging from minor to severe. Each level of bite corresponds to the degree of injury, helping us understand what each level entails to ensure that you receive the appropriate medical treatment and legal representation. Please pay special attention to level 3 bites, as that’s the bite level we’ll discuss in this blog.
- The first level of a dog bite is classified as a superficial wound, which involves the dog’s teeth making contact with the skin without breaking it. While this type of bite may not require immediate medical attention, do monitor the wound for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, and pus.
- The second level of dog bite involves one or two puncture wounds that are deeper than a superficial wound but don’t break the skin completely. This type of bite may require medical attention, such as cleaning and bandaging the wound, and may also require antibiotics to prevent infection.
- The third level of dog bite, as mentioned earlier, is a severe injury that requires immediate medical attention. It can be divided into two subcategories: deep puncture wounds and puncture wounds with tears in the skin, muscles, or tendons. Is a level 3 dog bite dangerous? It can be. These injuries often require antibiotics, wound care, and reconstructive surgery.
- The fourth level of dog bite is an injury that involves one to four puncture wounds, with at least one wound deeper than half the length of the dog’s teeth. This type of bite may also require medical attention, such as cleaning and bandaging the wound, and may also require antibiotics to prevent infection.
- The fifth level of dog bite involves bites on multiple body parts, including arms, legs, or torso. This type of bite can cause severe physical and emotional damage and often requires medical attention, such as wound care, antibiotics, and reconstructive surgery.
- The sixth level of dog bite is a fatal injury that results in the victim’s death. While rare and usually associated with an attack of multiple dogs, these types of bites are devastating and require immediate medical attention and legal action.
As you read in the list above, level 3 bites often require medical attention, including antibiotics, wound care, and reconstructive surgery. Documenting the injury and seeking medical treatment immediately following the attack is essential. It’s important to be able to gauge when to do to the hospital for a dog bite.
Dog bites can be dangerous. Beyond what is described above, even a seemingly minor bite can cause infection, scarring, and emotional trauma. In more severe cases, a dog bite can result in serious injuries, such as nerve damage, disfigurement, and even death. The risk of infection is also high, as dogs’ mouths contain a variety of bacteria that can lead to severe infections. Additionally, victims may suffer from emotional and psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. Therefore, it’s important to take any dog bite seriously and seek medical attention promptly. If a dog has bitten you or a loved one, it’s also crucial to consult with a dog bite attorney to understand your legal options and protect your rights.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help You
In addition to medical attention, consulting a dog bite lawyer is the next best step. A qualified dog bite lawyer can help you navigate the legal process. Let’s look more specifically at what an attorney can do if you find yourself or a loved one to be the victim of a dog attack.
- Investigate the incident: A dog bite lawyer can gather information about the dog, its owner, and the circumstances surrounding the incident. This may include talking to witnesses, obtaining medical records, and reviewing police or animal control reports.
- Determine liability: In some cases, liability for a dog bite may fall on the dog owner or a third party, such as a property owner or landlord. A dog bite attorney can analyze the evidence and help determine who is responsible for your injuries.
- File a claim: An attorney can help you file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance company or file a lawsuit in court. They can handle all the legal paperwork and ensure your claim is properly filed within the statute of limitations.
- Negotiate a settlement: A dog bite lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies or the other party’s legal team to reach a fair settlement that covers your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
- Go to court: If a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney can represent you in court and argue your case before a judge and jury. They can present evidence and witness testimony to prove your case and help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Contact Crossen Law Firm: Our Indianapolis Dog Bite Lawyers Can Help You!
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a dog attack or bite, it’s important to seek the legal representation you deserve. At Crossen Law Firm, our experienced dog bite injury attorneys are dedicated to fighting for the rights of dog bite victims and ensuring they receive the compensation they deserve. Don’t wait, contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you. Our team will work tirelessly to hold the responsible parties accountable and help you move forward after a traumatic experience. Call us now at (317) 401-8626 or visit our website to learn more about our services.