When dogs are trained and are well cared for, they can provide families with years of love and companionship, but neglected and poorly-trained dogs can pose a significant threat to the families that own them and anyone else who encounters the dog. According to some reports, over 4 million people suffer dog bite injuries every year in the United States. Dog bite injuries result in hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits, all of which could have been prevented had pet owners provided their dogs with proper training and care.
Sadly, some of the most vulnerable dog bite injury groups are children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, children are at the highest risk of sustaining major injuries when attacked by a dog. Children could be particularly susceptible to dog bite injuries because they may be less aware of the dangers of the animal, their small height and body weight, and their playfulness may put a distressed dog on edge.
Compensation is Available After a Dog Bite Attack With the Support of a Knowledgeable Attorney
Dog bite injuries can be catastrophic, especially when the victim is a small child. If your child has been attacked by a dog, obtaining legal counsel from a well-versed dog bite injury attorney is recommended. A knowledgeable attorney will ensure maximum restitution is obtained, which will help your injured child achieve the best physical and mental recovery possible.
The dog bite injury attorneys at Smith & Williams Law Firm, LLC have extensive experience handling these cases, including dog bite cases involving children. When a vicious dog bites a young child, the child can face a wide range of adverse effects, including irreversible skin tissue damage and psychological trauma. The attorneys at Smith & Williams Law Firm, LLC have the right skills and experience necessary to obtain the highest monetary compensation available. If your child has been attacked by an uncontrolled dog, obtain the support of Smith & Williams Law Firm, LLC. Consider contacting the firm to get informed about your legal options. Call (908) 264-7228 or complete the confidential form today.
Important Information Regarding Dog Bites and Children
The CDC reports that children have a higher risk of being bitten by a dog than adults. When a child is bitten, the agency adds that the injuries sustained by the child are likely to be more severe. Also, most dog bites affecting children occur during everyday activities, including while the child is interacting with a familiar dog.
When it comes to dog bites and children, important facts to know include:
- Almost 50 percent of dog bite victims under 4 years of age are attacked by a family pet.
- Children who are attacked are more likely to sustain injuries to their head, face, and/or neck.
- A child who is attacked has a higher risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or a fear of going outdoors.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics states that a majority of reconstructive surgeries required as a consequence of dog bites are performed on minors.
A Dog Owner’s Legal Responsibility
According to the CDC, any dog has the potential to bite a person, but a vast majority of these incidents are completely preventable. Since most dog attacks occur as a result of the dog owner’s negligence, dog owners in the State of New Jersey are held strictly responsible when their pet causes another person harm as a result of a dog bite. Based on New Jersey’s strict dog bite law, codified as N.J.S.A §4:19-16, the dog owner will be held strictly responsible for the dog bite whether or not he or she knew of the dog’s propensity for aggressive behavior.
Unless the dog bite victim was trespassing or taunting the animal before the attack occurred, dog owners could be held responsible for the following damages caused by their pet’s bite attack: Hospital bills, Medical treatment expenses, Surgery costs, Pain and suffering, and Psychological counseling.
PTSD and Child Development
The physical effects of a dog bite are generally obvious. The skin tissue wounds, scratches, and scars can all be visible, and most people assume that once the injuries have healed, the victim’s life moves on. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth, as the psychological trauma caused by the dog bite attack can be long-lasting. Sadly, the psychological trauma caused by dog attacks is not commonly discussed. What many fail to realize is that when a dog bites a person, especially a young child, the psychological trauma caused can have lifelong debilitating consequences.
Children and adults cope differently in the aftermath of a dog bite attack. Unlike most adults, children may not know how to communicate their feelings with respect to the attack. They may bury their emotions and could remain silent about the ordeal. Making matters worse, studies indicate that children who are attacked by dogs may develop PTSD, a psychiatric disorder caused by a traumatic event, and this may result in neurological damage.
A 2009 study conducted by Stanford University details the trail of damage that psychological trauma can leave on a child’s brain. According to the study, children with symptoms of PTSD suffer poor function in the part of the brain responsible for storing and retrieving memories. Participants in the study who showed symptoms of PTSD had problems recalling parts of the test. Regrettably, children who suffer memory problems will face many challenges as they get older.
After a Dog Bite Attack, Your Child Can Experience Serious and Lifelong Challenges, a Skilled Attorney Can Help
Dog bite attacks can be violent and can cause lifelong consequences. When a dog bites a young child, the devastating consequences can be even more tragic. For this reason, it is critically important to obtain the support of an attorney. An experienced attorney will thoroughly investigate the case and ensure the young victim receives the monetary compensation he or she truly deserves. If your child was bitten by a dog, contact a skilled attorney right away.
The experienced litigators at Smith & Williams Law Firm, LLC are exceptionally skilled in dog bite cases. The proficient attorneys at the firm are well aware of the egregious consequences a dog bite attack can have on a small child. For this reason, the litigators at Smith & Williams Law Firm, LLC work tirelessly to ensure careless dog owners are held responsible for the damages caused by their pets. To schedule a free consultation with the attorneys at Smith & Williams Law Firm, LLC call (908) 264-7228 or complete the online form here.