Dog bites may seem like routine injuries, but they often leave more than just physical wounds for the victims. When a dog viciously attacks, the physical and emotional trauma can haunt those affected for years. Understanding your rights and exploring legal options with the help of a Baltimore personal injury attorney early is essential.
Maryland’s Rising Dog Bite Statistics
Over 4.5 million people suffer dog bite injuries each year in the U.S. In Maryland, around 400 dog bites get reported annually, though many more likely go unreported. Unfortunately, serious dog attacks in Maryland have spiked over 57% in the last decade. A significant portion of these incidents involve children.
Common Causes and Risk Factors
While no single factor always triggers dog bites, there are some common causes to be aware of. For example, chained dogs or dogs left alone for long hours often become more territorial and prone to attack. Insufficient training and socialization, or simply intruding into a dog’s perceived territory, even accidentally, can also provoke bites. Children under 5 years old are most vulnerable as they may wrongly interact with or startle dogs.
Injuries Far Beyond Superficial Wounds
The old adage “barking dogs seldom bite” downplays the traumatic injuries dogs can inflict through biting and mauling. From muscle tears, nerve damage, and broken bones to permanent disfiguring wounds and scars, dog bites often have serious medical consequences. Infection, rabies transmission, or secondary injuries from falls are also concerns. Emotionally too, dog bites can cause chronic distress and fear, especially in children.
Exploring Legal Recourse
Maryland follows the “one-bite rule” in dog bite cases. This means dog owners are liable only if they knew beforehand that their dog could potentially bite. However, you can still file claims if the owner violated leash laws or if the biting happened in a public place or employer premise. Where the dog owner has clear liability, you can claim compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain/suffering damages, and more. An attorney can help prove liability and get adequate compensation.
Overcoming Long-Term Trauma
While physical wounds will eventually heal, emotional trauma has no timeline. Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD, and specific phobias of dogs often linger for years. Adults and children alike may undergo severe anxiety around dogs or when visiting areas where they were attacked. Getting sound legal advice is crucial, but counseling and therapy are equally vital to overcome lasting trauma. Support groups can also provide comfort for victims and families affected by traumatic dog attacks.
Get the Help You Deserve
Dog bite victims often bear not only brutal physical wounds but invisible emotional scars for life. Seeking counsel from an experienced Maryland dog bite attorney should be your first step towards getting your rights and compensation. Together, we can build the strongest case so you can finally move ahead from the painful incident. At Monge & Associates, we are fully committed to helping you resolve this difficult situation with compassion.
We have offices in 32 locations and 19 states, including Maryland, Iowa and Arizona.
Call now for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597 if you have been bitten by a dog and you are seeking compensation.