Young children are the most common victims of dog bites and attacks. Just last week, a West Virginia girl was bitten in the face at a local animal shelter where she’d gone to volunteer. According to the online news report, the girl’s mother is considering legal action.
In cases where a child suffers serious injury including scarring or disfigurement, parents should consider the following in deciding whether to take legal action:
Seriousness of the injuries: The more serious the injury, the more carefully a parent should consider making a claim on their child’s behalf against the dog owner and any others potentially liable, such as landlords, dog trainers, etc. In addition, many people do not know that a dog owner’s homeowners or renters insurance policy will probably apply and be a source of recovery. Financial recovery can provide for future medical treatment needs such as plastic surgery, physical therapy, psychological treatment, etc.
Nature and extent of medical treatment: In the worst situations, dog bites or attacks lead to death or limb amputations. In most cases, stitches and scars are the norm. In addition, emotional trauma can be significant, especially for children. The more extensive the medical treatment, the more medical bills will be incurred. Parents may be able to make claims to recover such expenses paid on behalf of their children in addition to recovering for future expenses.
Other factors to consider in deciding whether to pursue legal action include length of the lawsuit and age/maturity level of the child. Depending on the county where the lawsuit is filed, dog bite lawsuits can take 1 to 2 years to resolve. In some instances, a dog bite case may be able to be settled prior to filing suit. However, the majority of cases will require filing a lawsuit. Also, in nearly all lawsuits, the victim will testify at a deposition, where he or she will be asked to talk about what happened. For some children, discussing the dog attack at a deposition can be stressful. Parents can best decide if filing a lawsuit is appropriate for their child.
Related Legal Article: New Jersey Dog Attack Lawsuit – What You Have to Prove
If you’d like to have your child’s case reviewed by our New Jersey and Pennsylvania dog bite and animal attack lawyers, call 215.925.4451. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation.
The personal injury lawyers at Schwartz & Blackman handle cases in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania area:
- NJ: Atlantic County, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Camden, Cherry Hill, New Jersey shore cities
- PA: Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Norristown, Philadelphia
*This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is important to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.