As an Atlanta Dog Bite Lawyer, I know that dog bites are a serious public health problem that can inflict considerable physical and emotion damages on victims and their families. Each year, more than 800,000 Americans seek medical treatment for dog bites. Sadly, half of these dog bite victims are children. In fact, in 2000, dog bites were the 5th largest cause of non-fatal injuries treated in children aged 14 and younger, just behind motor vehicle accidents, suffocation, drowning, and injuries due to falls and sports injuries.
Common dog bite injuries include disfigurement, permanent nerve damage, complex trauma to muscle tissue, and severe psychological consequences. In addition, dog bite-related injuries result in an average of 30 deaths each year. Children are exposed to many hazards and risks as they grow and develop into adulthood, and accident related injuries are the leading cause of death and disability for children and teenagers in the United States. The physical, social, cultural, political and economic environments in which they live can significantly increase or decrease their injury risks.
Dog bites in children, because of their smaller size, are frequently on the face. Such injuries to the face can be complex and may require specialists such as plastic surgeons, ear, nose, and throat doctors, and eye doctors. About 1 in 7 children who receive emergency treatment for dog bites to the face sustain ophthalmic eye injuries, which are more likely to have complications and need revision surgery that other injuries.
You can help your children to avoid dog bites by teaching them the following guidelines:
1) Never approach an unfamiliar dog; 2) Never pet a dog without letting it see and sniff you first; 3) Never turn your back on a dog or try to run away from a dog; 4) If a dog approaches you, stay still: “like a tree”; 5) If you fall or get knocked over by a dog, lie still on the ground: “like a log”; 6) Always tell an adult if you see a stray dog or get bitten by a dog.
In Georgia, a dog owner who allows his or her pet to roam freely is likely in violation of the local leash law. Unfortunately, he or she may be able to avoid liability for a bog bite by proving that you or your child provoked the animal. If you or your child gets bitten by a dog, protect yourselves by contacting an experienced Atlanta Dog Bite Lawyer.
Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, dental malpractice, bus accidents, car accident cases and premises injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years. He practices in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you or your child have been attacked by a dog and seriously injured and would like discuss your case, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.