The Consequences Of Dog Owners’ Negligence
Dog attacks should never be dismissed as minor or everyday occurrences. Pet owners are responsible for keeping their dogs under control, whether they are at home or out in public. Their mistakes, and poor training, often leave innocent bystanders with serious injuries that go beyond cuts and bruises. Victims of dog attacks have to deal with lot of physical and emotional healing to move on, all because dog owners could not handle the responsibility of their pets.
If you suffered an injury in a dog attack, reach out to the Seattle injury attorneys at Pendergast Law. We have been recovering compensation for dog bite victims throughout Seattle for nearly 40 years and understand just how traumatic these incidents are. We will not rest until we have recovered compensation for all of your medical bills, lost wages, and emotional trauma. Call us today toll-free at 888-539-9211 for a free consultation.
Common Injuries In Dog Attacks In Seattle
Animal bites accounted for more than 5,000 non-fatal injuries over a 10-year period across the state of Washington. Luckily, only 41 people died due to animal attacks, but many of these incidents could have been prevented if dog owners had taken proper precautions. Keeping a dog on a leash or properly fencing in a yard can go a long way in preventing traumatic injuries, such as:
- Serious cuts and lacerations
- Crush injuries and broken bones, especially on the hands and wrists
- Infected wounds
- Spinal cord and brain injuries caused during falls
- Soft-tissue damage
- Nerve damage
- Chronic pain
The Emotional Impact Of Dog Bites
Being attacked leaves more than just physical injuries: many victims experience some form of emotional trauma as well. This is especially true for younger victims. Types of emotional trauma victims often deal with after dog attacks include:
- Fear of dogs, or cynophobia
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
The mental anguish of a dog attack should never be discounted. These mental injuries are real and should be taken seriously by everyone, from medical professionals to insurance adjusters. If you experienced mental-health issues after a dog attack, it is important to discuss your symptoms with your doctor and seek trained psychiatric care. Your symptoms and conditions can be treated.
Treatment For Dog Attacks
After a dog bite, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you reported the attack to animal control or 911, then paramedics should also be informed. If you do not want to pay for the cost of an ambulance and do not have a serious injury like a head wound, then you should still see a doctor at urgent care or an emergency room. Doctors can review your injuries and determine if you need stitches for deep puncture wounds, antibiotics for an infection, or intensive care for any broken bones, sprains, or strains.
When treating a bite at home, you should:
- Wash the wound with soap and warm water.
- Clean the wound of any dirt or gravel.
- Apply an antibiotic cream to the wound.
- Wrap the wound with a sterile bandage.
If you experience any signs of an infection, including a rash, itching, fever, nausea or headaches, see a doctor as soon as possible. You may need a tetanus shot and other antibiotics to fight off an infection.
The Cost Of Dog Bites
It is a false belief that dog bites are cheap. The cost of your medical care can vary depending on the severity of the wound, but after going to the emergency room, purchasing antibiotics, and handling any long-term damage, you can easily burn through your savings. For more severe injuries, you may require hospitalization, reconstructive surgery to repair disfigurement or scars, physical therapy and psychiatric care for any emotional trauma.
Another factor to consider is the impact the bite can have on your job. Attending multiple medical appointments and weekly physical therapy sessions and taking time off to recover can be a major blow to your income. These lost wages should not be ignored after an injury, as victims are owed compensation for all financial damages they have suffered.
Lastly, while it is hard to put a price on your pain, a skilled dog bite attorney can use various methods to calculate the impact of the bite on your personal life. Everything from the pain of your injuries to your day-to-day mental health can be included in your claim.
Over a 10-year period, there were an average of 17,000 dog bite claims across the country, with the average value of each claim being $50,000 in 2020. Many victims may have settled without an attorney and received a lowball offer from a homeowner’s insurance company. Different states also have different restrictions for dog bites and the expertise of each victim’s attorney can also limit the amount they received.
At Pendergast Law, our Seattle injury lawyers fight to get our clients the highest possible award after a dog bite. Washington state does not have damage caps on personal injury claims, and if you were bitten in the Seattle area, we can fight to get you compensation for:
- All medical expenses, including past and future treatment
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
Your Legal Rights After An Attack
Washington state follows strict liability laws when a dog bites someone other than its owner. If you were injured by a dog, then you do not have to prove the dog had vicious tendencies, that the owner acted negligently, or that the dog had bitten anyone in the past. You simply need to show that you were injured in an unprovoked attack and were not trespassing.
Unfortunately, homeowner’s insurance companies will fight tooth and nail to avoid paying full compensation after an attack. They may try to argue that you were trespassing, that you provoked the dog, or that your injuries were self-inflicted. Whatever their arguments, our Seattle dog bite attorneys at Pendergast Law can advocate for you. We have nearly 30 years of experience and our founding attorney, Mr. Pendergast, is a member of both the Million and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Let us handle the heavy lifting of getting you compensation after a dog bite. Call us today toll-free at 888-539-9211 to discuss what happened to you in a free consultation.