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Severe Injuries Associated with Dog Bites to Children

Life can be a difficult journey to return to normal for victims that have suffered physical and mental trauma from a vicious dog attack. Dog attacks can be extremely dangerous for anyone that finds themselves in this predicament. However, for children, the consequences associated with a dog attack have proven to be more severe.

A 2018 article published by Carolyn Crist focused on the particularly vulnerable nature of children when it comes to dog attacks. According to the article, infants and toddlers make a large percentage of kids in the United States who are treated at trauma centers for dog bites each year. Injuries such as lacerations, bruising and even death have been documented. It is noted that an estimated 5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs each year. Half of them are children. Of them, a significant percentage of the dog bites occurred on the face. This is typically due to the small stature of young children and the striking range of most large canines. These attacks can cause significant long-term injuries and PTSD. The primary message being communicated is that all dogs can bite, and parents and dog owners need to take certain precautions to ensure safety.

Most jurisdictions have dog leash ordinances that require owners to ensure that their canines are confined to a specific secure property. For instance, several municipalities in the State of Georgia prohibit tethering a canine to a rope or chain. They must be confined in a gate, crate or a structure with reasonable assurances that the canine’s movement will be restricted. All too often we have heard stories of a child attacked by a stray canine while playing in a residential neighborhood. The attack of an individual by a canine definitely creates an inference of negligence. However, a further proof that an ordinance was violated and/or the owner had previous knowledge of the of the animal’s violent propensity is needed to prevail in court.

The inexperience that some young children have in dealing with canines is a contributing factor to this type of injury. Regardless, it is the responsibility of the owner of the canine to practice responsible ownership. If you or a family member have been a victim of violent dog attack time is of the essence. The first thing that you should do is file a report with the animal services department for the county where the attack occurred. It is also important to follow up and retrieve the animal services report, police report, body cameras, surveillance videos and statements/ interviews of witnesses. Investigation is key in dog bite cases. Your attorney will be responsible for laying out a clear explanation of how the owner knew or should have known that the canine was violent. This may come in the form of statements from the owner of the canine. However, it is often the case that additional efforts are required such as determining if there are other witnesses in the area familiar with the animal’s violent propensity and determining whether a government ordinance was violated. The Faucette Law Firm, LLC represents clients in all injury-related cases. We serve Atlanta, Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, Gwinnett, Fayette, Clayton, Henry and Douglas counties. Contact our law firm today for a consultation.