Animal attacks are traumatizing and can lead to severe injuries. At first glance, an animal attack case might seem straightforward. However, it takes strong evidence and persuasive argument to ensure that children receive the maximum compensation their cases deserve. Recovering high compensation improves their chances of making full recoveries. An experienced attorney does not guarantee success, but they significantly increase the odds.
What Is a Dog Bite Lawyer?
The term refers to a particular type of case, but it rarely sums up the work attorneys handle in the field. Dog bite attorneys typically handle animal attack cases involving pets. For example, these attorneys might also handle cases involving cats or they could take on dog attack cases where the animal did not literally bite the person. A dog could also cause injury by knocking over an older person or causing a car to swerve and hit a tree.
What Are Some Common Injuries Children Experience in Dog Attacks?
A study recently named dog bites as the top reason children end up in emergency rooms. The study also confirms that dog bites are often severe and pose a psychological risk of long-term trauma. Here are some of the most common injuries children tend to experience in these attacks.
Fractures and Broken Bones
Children are at a greater risk of suffering broken bones in these attacks than adults. This could be attributed to their small size and the speed with which dogs often attack. Fractures require surgery, missed time from work for parents, and lengthy recovery times for children.
Dog bites can spread infections when children don’t receive medical aid promptly. The bacteria from the teeth or mouth of animals can cause infections, but sometimes infections happen after initial treatment. To reduce this risk, doctors often ask parents to keep the affected area dry. For children with weakened immune systems, these infections can prove fatal.
The dog’s bite might only seem minor to most people, but these dogs often have strong jaws capable of ripping skin. This force can cause serious nerve damage and limit mobility in the area where the dog bites. Children are especially susceptible to this risk because they often try to play with dogs instead of fleeing when attacked.
Scars and Deformities
The most visible damage children often experience in dog attacks is scarring and deformities. These types of injuries can cause long-term psychological trauma. Adults are also at risk of this type of injury, but it occurs more frequently with children because their skin is fragile and vulnerable.
Children are also at risk of developing psychological trauma from a dog attack. Some people who experience such attacks develop PTSD and avoid dogs for the rest of their lives. Other children might grow up with a phobia of animals or refuse to go near them. One study found that 70% of children exhibited changed behaviors after dog bites. These psychological issues can have crippling effects on children’s lives.
What Kinds of Compensation Can Children Receive?
There are numerous types of compensation people can receive in these cases. The compensation might also change depending on the severity and type of injury a child sustains after an attack. An experienced attorney is a strong advocate when attempting to secure the maximum compensation a case deserves.
Many families have to pay exorbitant medical expenses when their children suffer dog bites that require specialized care. These bills could include surgery, ongoing treatment, physical therapy, medications or special equipment. Examples include wheelchairs, crutches or prosthetics. If a child’s injuries contribute to psychological issues later on, there is also the cost of treating these problems.
One study found that 50% of children need treatment after a dog bite injury. Many of these treatments involve sedation, surgeries and sutures. Children who suffer from deformities might also require additional surgery to reduce the effect. Finally, those who experience long-term psychological distress typically need therapy.
A parent who takes time off from work to help their child recover from a dog bite may not be able to return as quickly as they previously expected. They might also miss additional time from work in the future if the child’s recovery does not go as planned.
Older minors who cannot return to school or work immediately may also need compensation for lost wages. They might also find that their abilities have significantly declined after a dog attack and will be unable to perform at the same level they once did before the injury.
Loss Of Enjoyment
Children who cannot participate in their favorite sports or activities may experience a loss of enjoyment due to their injuries. They might also miss out on the opportunity to go on family vacations because they cannot enjoy certain locations or events where dogs might be present.
When these restrictions become long-term or permanent realities, they significantly impact the quality of life. Attorneys typically factor in this reduced quality of life when estimating the value of the case.
Why Parents Need an Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer for Injured Children?
Parents often believe they can absorb the costs on their own, or they accept the lowball offer from the insurance company. Taking this route might seem like the most peaceful solution, especially when the accident involves a friend or a family member. However, it creates the potential for unresolved problems that can last a long time. Here’s why hiring an attorney might present a better alternative.
Personal injury law is incredibly complex.
It involves a lot of specialized knowledge, including the type of compensation victims can receive and how much it is worth. A good attorney has years of experience dealing with insurance companies and personal injury cases. They know what information the insurance company needs to pay maximum compensation for their clients too. People who represent themselves might accidentally overlook key details in their cases.
Parents can focus more on their children’s recovery.
When parents hire an attorney, they don’t have to split their focus between legal claims and being there for their children. Splitting their time between these two critical elements can compromise the outcomes on both sides. Attorneys can handle all the technical aspects, such as gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, filing claims and negotiating with the insurance company.
Most personal injury attorneys charge nothing upfront.
There is no fee unless the law firm secures compensation for its client. Most attorneys will cover the cost of filing your claim too, so you never have to worry about that part of the process. States set a cap on how much an attorney can reclaim as fees from compensation for personal injuries.
How Can Parents Find Experienced Dog Bite Attorneys?
Sadly, dog attacks are common among children under 14 years old. Consequently, parents likely know someone else whose child has had a similar experience. Those parents might feel comfortable recommending a law firm. The child’s doctors might have also worked with personal injury lawyers before and can recommend a few. Parents should vet all recommendations via independent sources, such as review sites.
At Jason Stone Injury Lawyers, our team remains dedicated to helping families recover from these tragic incidents. Whether the case involves catastrophic physical injuries or emotional distress, we want to review it. Remember, There’s No Obligation. Just Information.® Contact us today.