Dog Bite Accidents in NJ, PA and MD

Americans love their dogs.  It is not uncommon to see owners bring their dogs to local sporting events, parks, playgrounds, community events, on their personal boats, and to certain beaches and campgrounds.   The friendly nature of dogs draw children and adults alike to bend down to pet and talk to them.  Unfortunately, not all dogs are friendly, and even if they have been in the past, a dog is an animal and can bite whether they are provoked or not.

Injuries from dog bites can be very serious, often leaving physical and emotional scars.  Children are most often bitten on the face, neck, and hands since they are naturally level to the dog’s mouth area.  Adults are typically bitten on the hand, legs, feet, or arms.  Regardless of the location of the dog bite; tissue damage, nerve damage, injuries to ligaments and tendons, and even broken bones can require surgery, stitches, prescription medication, physical therapy, and even psychological therapy for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.)

In New Jersey, it is the dog owner’s responsibility to properly enclose, restrain, and control their pet.  Failing to do so leaves them liable and responsible for the cost of medical treatment for the victim.  Most often the owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy will cover the damage, but depending on the circumstances, a civil suit could also make them personally responsible for punitive damages.

The Most Aggressive Dogs are also Some of the Smallest

Generally, the larger the dog, the more severe the injury when it comes to dog bites; however, small dogs can cause significant damage to their victims.  Pitbull breeds have been making news headlines for years with reports of vicious attacks that left victims permanently scarred or even fatally injured.  Though Pitbulls have been commonly feared by those unfamiliar with the breed, other popular breeds of dogs are considered even more vicious.

According to a study reported in the Journal of Applied Animal Behavior Science, a team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania surveyed 6,000 pet owners to see which breeds of dog were most aggressive.  The results were surprising.  The number one breed reported as most aggressive was the Dachshund.  One out of every five Dachshunds was reported to have bitten a stranger or other animal, and one out of every 12 dachshunds has bitten their owners.  Chihuahuas and Jack Russell Terriers took second and third place, respectively.  Though most of their bites were not serious or fatal, they still caused significant dog bite injuries to their victims.  The study also found that Pitbulls and Rottweilers were reported to be average to below average in reported dog bites or attacks.

Common Injuries Resulting from Dog Bites

According to statistics reported by pediatrics.com, five million people a year suffer dog bite injuries in the United States, with approximately 400,000 of them being children requiring medical treatment.  The following are the most common types of dog bite injuries:

  • Puncture Wounds

    These types of injuries result from a deep piercing of the skin and typically do not bleed as much as other injuries, commonly closing and healing on the outside without medical attention. The danger in this type of injury is infection and nerve damage, which can require extensive medical treatments.  Blood poisoning, rabies, and tetanus can also occur.

  • Broken Bones

    Larger dogs frequently have strong jaws and tend to not only bite their victims, but viciously thrash back and forth during an attack. These actions can easily break an arm or a leg bone, especially in children.  Broken bones can also occur from falling while being chased by a dog.

  • Eye Injuries

    The most common eye injuries resulting from a dog attack include scratched corneas, punctures or ruptures in the eye, tissue tearing, lens dislocation, orbital fractures, hemorrhages, and even a loss of an eye.

  • Nerve Damage

    Nerve damage often occurs from a deep wound or vicious shaking or compression by the dog during an attack.  Symptoms commonly fail to appear until one or two weeks following an attack.

  • Rabies

    Rabies is a viral infection that can be transmitted from a dog to a human.  Dog bites are the most common form of rabies transmission and can take two to twelve weeks for symptoms to appear.  Without preventive treatment, victims can die from cardio-pulmonary arrest or paralytic death.

  • Head and Neck Injuries and Scarring

    Head and neck injuries can be serious and lead to traumatic brain injury (TBI), paralysis if the spinal cord is severed, or the victim could bleed to death if a major artery in the neck is pierced.  Scarring is inevitable with injuries to the face and neck area and could require expensive plastic surgeries that may not be covered by insurance.

  • Emotional Injury

    Anxiety, depression, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can follow a dog bite attack.  Medication and therapy may be needed for victims to recover.

The best advice for adults and children is to always proceed with caution when approaching an animal, even a trusted family pet.  Dogs have behavioral instincts that can cause them to bite out of fear, anxiety, or from a real or perceived threat.  Dogs are also prone to bite when they are chained, sick, injured, or in excessive heat.  Children and adults should never put their face down to the dog’s eye level, and should always ask the dog’s owner first if the dog is safe to approach.

New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers at the Law Offices Eric A. Shore help Victims of Dog Bites Claim Justice and Compensation for their Injuries

New Jersey law holds dog owners, landlords, and building owners responsible for the action of their dogs or those on their property.  If you or someone you know has been bitten or injured by a dog in New Jersey, you may be entitled to compensation. The knowledgeable and experienced New Jersey dog bite lawyers at the personal injury law firm of Eric A. Shoreare committed to fighting for the highest amount of compensation available to you under the law.  Call us today at 856-761-1222 or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation.  Our offices are conveniently located in Newark and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Baltimore, Maryland.

Americans love their dogs.  It is not uncommon to see owners bring their dogs to local sporting events, parks, playgrounds, community events, on their personal boats, and to certain beaches and campgrounds. 

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Eric A. Shore

Licensed since 1994

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