Charleston, WV, Dog Bite Injury Lawyers
Dog bite injuries can be significant, catastrophic events in the lives of dog bite victims. This may be especially true for children, but adult dog bite victims are also traumatized. Quite a few people attacked by dogs require — or benefit from — psychological counseling in addition to physical medical treatment. Are you suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after an animal attack? Contact an attorney at Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler, PLLC, to schedule a consultation.
Dog Bites Can Prove Costly
Prompt emergency care is important after a dog bite injury. Doctors will want to take steps to prevent infection and monitor the healing process carefully. Plastic surgeons may be able to mitigate potential for scarring with timely surgery. In the case of disfigurement, they may also recommend additional surgical reconstruction in the future.
Dog bites can be particularly catastrophic for children, who, because of their stature, are more likely to be bitten in the face and suffer disfiguring injuries.
Proper medical care, therapy and healing time are expensive and burdensome for dog bite victims, and can include costs related to:
- Rabies shots
- Broken bones
- Torn soft tissues
- Physical therapy
- Mental health treatment for PTSD or anxiety
A successful personal injury claim or lawsuit can provide the resources needed to recover as quickly and as completely as possible.
We can help you understand the power of the safety net of homeowners insurance, a very common source of compensation for dog bite victims.
Who Is Responsible When A Dog Bites?
In West Virginia, a dog is allowed one “free bite” before the owner becomes liable. That means the owner will only be responsible if the dog bites again. This is not true, however, for dog owners who let their dogs run off leash. If you are bit by an off-leash animal, its owner is liable for your injuries right away.
If you or a loved one had been teasing or taunting a dog before the dog bit, it may be more difficult to determine liability for any resulting injuries. An investigation will have to determine who was at fault for the incident.
Dogs that are not “at large” (that is, the are on a leash or secured in a yard) aren’t always off the hook if they bite, however. If a bite victim can show that the owners were aware that the dog had bitten previously, they still may be able to secure compensation to help pay for medical bills and other expenses related to the incident.