We often hear the term, man’s best friend, and to so many people, their dog serves as just that: their loyal companion, their snuggle buddy, their unconditional friend. And while there is nothing wrong with the bond a person and a dog can share, this loyalty can cause a person to put on blinders.
The reality is dogs are animals. They have basic animal instincts and can’t truly understand the difference between what is right and wrong. That dog that would never hurt a soul may nip when startled or become aggressive when they feel threatened. The truth is, any dog is capable of biting a person and causing serious injury, and there is no way to predict when or where. Reach out to a Williston dog bite lawyer.
For a dog bite victim, the aftermath can be terrifying, painful, and have long-lasting consequences. You may have legal options if you or someone you care about in Williston suffered a dog bite. Call Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers or visit us online to request a free consultation.
Any dog bite can cause serious injury
Dog bites can happen anytime, anywhere. They can happen at the park, on a walk, or even in our front yard. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports approximately 4.5 million people are the victims of dog bites every year. Of these, about one out of every five bites require medical attention.
While it’s true that larger dogs carry a bigger bite, bites from smaller breeds can be just as serious. That’s why taking every bite seriously and seeking appropriate medical attention is important. Some of the most common consequences of dog bites include the following:
Puncture wounds and lacerations
A skin puncture is the most obvious sign of injury after a dog bite. Typically, the larger the animal, the larger the skin laceration likely will be. However, many factors can affect the size of the wound, including the force of the bite, how long the dog held on, and whether there was any pulling. These wounds, at minimum, require a medical examination and may require further care, such as debridement or stitches.
Infection is a very real concern after a dog bite. Any open wound carries the risk of becoming infected. Left unattended, even a minor infection can lead to serious health issues. Regardless of the size of the bite, your doctor will likely want to examine the wound and may prescribe antibiotics.
Scarring and permanent disfigurement
All bites, big or small, can lead to permanent scarring. A recent analysis from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported over 47,000 surgeries for dog bite repair. In addition to the psychological toll these types of injuries can cause, severe scarring can lead to other issues, including limited mobility.
Muscle, nerve, and bone damage
Teeth that penetrate the skin can cause damage to the underlying muscles, bones, and nerves. This damage can be permanent or may require surgeries and or physical therapy.
There is no questioning how traumatic a dog bite can be. Regardless of the size of the animal, in the moment, you don’t know when the attack will end or what your injuries will look like. Emotional trauma, including PTSD, is very common following a dog bite. It is important to watch out for the signs of PTSD and seek help when needed.
Dog bites and the law
The law requires dog owners to maintain adequate control over their animals. If someone’s animal bites another person, the owner may be partially or fully responsible for any costs incurred by the injured party under personal injury law.
After a serious dog bite, never accept the word of the dog’s owner that they will cover any costs or that the dog is in good health. Injuries can progress, and you may not realize the full extent of the trauma until weeks or months after the attack.
Under the law, dog bite victims can pursue reasonable damages from the owner through a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
This may include:
- Medical costs, including doctor visits, surgeries, medication, psychological treatment, and rehabilitation.
- Lost wages, for any time you have to miss from work while you recover from your injuries.
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress, anxiety, embarrassment, pain, and disfigurement.
How Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers Can Help You
After a dog bite, it isn’t easy to know what happens next. Things could get particularly complicated if the dog belonged to a friend or family member. In many cases, dog bite cases go through the owner’s homeowner’s insurance. However, there may be times when a direct lawsuit is necessary. Regardless, talking to an experienced Williston personal injury attorney is always a good idea.
When you work with Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we’ll guide you through the process and help you understand what to expect. Right now, your only focus should be on healing.
Items our firm can help with include:
- Referrals to doctors and specialists in the Williston area
- Payment plan arrangements for medical bills
- Review of medical records and physician interviews
- Negotiations with the insurance company
- Settlement negotiations
- Legal representation in court
Get the legal help you need. Call Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers
After a dog bite, you have limited time to make a legal claim for damages. The North Dakota statute of limitations restricts all personal injury claims, including dog bites, generally to six years from the incident, however, in some scenarios the time limit can be even shorter.
At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, our team of experienced lawyers works with accident victims daily to ensure they have the resources they need to move forward and live a full life. Our mission is to be your safe place and your strongest advocate.
For information regarding your legal rights and the next steps, contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers at (701) 707-0712 for your free case evaluation.
Nicolet Law- Williston Office:
125 Main Street Unit 216 Williston, ND 58801(701) 707-0712