Dog Bites - By: James Dodson

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Dog Bites - By: James Dodson

Post  natashachamberlin on Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:49 am

Dog Bites - By: James Dodson

Children are most vulnerable to dog bites and are least able to protect themselves when attacked. The AMA reports dog bites are the second leading cause of childhood injury, higher than playground injuries. The following statistics further demonstrate the magnitude of danger posed to children:

One quarter of all homeowner claims are for dog bites (Insurance Information Institute)

77% of bites to children are facial wounds (Richard Polsky PhD. CAAB, www.dogbiteexpert.com)

Breeds most responsible for death and serious bodily injuries are Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and wolf hybrids (Animal People News). They account for 77% of attacks with bodily injury, 73% of attacks on children, and 70% of fatal attacks. (www.dogbite.org)

Half of all dog bites occur on the owner's property, where a chained dog is 2.8 times more likely to bite than one not restrained. (CDC)

While there are serious maulings and even deaths reported each year from dog bites, most bites are less severe. Even a brief attack can render tragic consequences for a child bitten on the face, head, arms or upper body. Wounds caused by a dog bite produce significant physical pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, and may also result in vision loss, fear and emotional suffering, often with long lasting consequences.

Treatment of physical wounds often requires emergency medical care. Even some of the least serious bites require stitches. More serious bites require wound repair surgery, stitches, wound debridement, plastic surgery, treatment for potential infection and future care. After the initial period of healing, many wounds require care by plastic surgeon to treat the scars that remain. In the least serious wounds, topical medications may be sufficient to help scars heal fully. More serious wounds require later revision surgery by plastic surgeon to help minimize the long-term appearance of scars. More than one revision surgeries are often required a year or more after the initial wounds have healed. Some wounds, unfortunately, remained visible for a lifetime.

Treating the emotional trauma sustained by a child from a dog bite cannot be overlooked. Emotional support, reassurance, therapy and even counseling may be necessary in order to deal with the psychological scars that remain from such an encounter. We all know adults who suffered a lifelong fear of dogs, as well as other psychological scarring, from an event that occurred during their childhood.

When a child has been seriously injured from a dog bite, careful and timely investigation must be undertaken to locate every possible source of compensation. Any insurance covering the dog owner must be identified, including homeowners insurance, any umbrella policy, as well as any potential commercial policy which may provide coverage.

Careful coordination with treating physicians is essential. A thorough understanding of the need for future revision surgeries and other medical expenses must be considered. Often financial provision must be made to insure that adequate funds are reserved for these expenses well into the future. In serious cases, your attorney should discuss the possibility of placing a portion of any settlement monies into a structured settlement, which would provide payments over a set number of years in order to meet anticipated medical and other needs of the child. They are entirely optional. However, they offer certain tax advantages and provide flexibility for anticipated future needs of the child.

If you have a child who has suffered injury from a dog bite you are entitled to have your questions answered from someone you trust who has experience in dealing with these issues.



Source: http://www.articlerich.com
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natashachamberlin
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