While dogs can be great companions, some are extremely dangerous and can bite someone. Unfortunately, millions of people are bitten by dogs each year, and over half of them are children.
Hopefully, your child will never experience a frightening dog attack, but it's important to be prepared. Here are some of the most common types of injuries, what medical conditions might result, and the kind of compensation your family may be eligible to receive from the dog's owner under California law.
Five Common Injuries Children Suffer in Dog Attacks
Children—especially young ones—are less able to protect themselves in a dog attack due to their smaller size, weight, and strength. As a result, they're much more likely to suffer life-altering injuries. Here are the most common issues:
- Infections. A child can suffer life-threatening infections like rabies, Pasteurella, and strep. Getting medical care is crucial to prevent the infection from worsening.
- Scars and disfigurement. Many children are bitten on their faces and head, resulting in permanent scarring and disfigurement. While plastic surgery might help, a child may have to live with visible trauma for the rest of their life.
- Crushing injuries. When a dog’s sharp teeth sink into a child’s skin, this might cause crushing injuries, such as serious fractures of bones and damage to soft tissue and muscles. A child may need multiple surgeries, physical therapy, and medications to repair the damage and experience life-long limitations.
- Nerve damage. When the damage to the soft tissue and muscles is severe enough, nerves may also be damaged. This can limit a child’s mobility and, in catastrophic cases, could cause paralysis.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Being attacked by a dog is a terrifying experience, and it can be traumatic for a child to have to cope with their long-term injuries. They can develop PTSD, which can cause them to relive the experience and cause many psychological problems that make it difficult for them to function well in school and carry out daily activities.
When the dog bite is especially vicious, a child might suffer more devastating consequences, such as amputation of a limb, internal organ damage, or death.
Let Us Help Hold the Dog Owner Accountable
In California, a dog owner is strictly liable to compensate your child for their injuries. I'm an experienced San Diego dog bite lawyer who will aggressively fight for the damages your child deserves and take the special steps required to get your child’s settlement approved under the law. To learn more about the value of your child’s claim and the rules you need to follow, call my San Diego office to schedule your free consultation today.