An Oregon woman was at an afternoon cocktail party when she was bitten in the face by the host’s dog, according to a Komo News article. The injuries the 43-year old woman, Christine Shertzer, suffered included a large tear to her lower lip. After a five-day trial, a jury awarded her just over $100,000.
Dog Bite Statistics
Unfortunately, Shertzer is not alone. In fact, each day about 1,000 Americans bitten by a dog require emergency room care for injuries suffered, according to DogsBite.org a consumer protection non-profit organization. Some dog bites can be fatal; there were 283-recorded deaths related to dog attacks between 2005 and 2013, according to a consumer protection group. With almost 80 million dogs in the United States, dog owners are required to take necessary precautions to prevent injury to others.
Numerous advocacy groups across the nation are constantly fighting to keep legislation from passing that prohibits certain breeds of dogs from being pets. Despite these efforts, however, the numbers don’t lie. Dogs bite 4.5 million Americans each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Half of the victims of dog bites are children; sadly, most are between the ages of 5 and 9.
Dog bite injuries impose an economic burden on top of physical injury and medical needs. The average cost of a dog bite injury claim in 2011 was about $30,000. In 2013,State Farm paid out $2.3 million for South Carolina claims involving dog bite injuries. Overall, 3,700 dog bite claims submitted to State Farm resulted in payment of $104 million. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a dog bite injury, you may be entitled to receive monetary compensation for your injuries. Contact an experienced and aggressive Charleston dog bite injury attorney today to find out your rights under South Carolina law.
Types of Injuries
There are serious physical impairments, and even fatalities, that can result from injuries caused from dog bites. Beyond physical injuries, many dog bite injury victims suffer from mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as a result of the traumatizing experience.
The following types of injuries can result from dog bites:
- Extreme blood loss
- Loss of consciousness
- Severe cuts throughout the body
- Severed limbs
- Permanent disfigurement
If you or someone you know is a dog owner, precautionary measures can be taken to lower the risk of a dog bite injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these include:
- Never leaving a dog alone with infants or young children
- Not playing aggressively with a dog
- Spay or neuter
- Seek professional advice if the animal shows aggressive tendencies
- Proper training
Seek Professional Help