I often read about injuries that are caused by animal bites in Virginia. Most typically children are hurt by dangerous dogs, although cat bites can also be serious.
In this video I outline some of the health impacts of animal bites. Often arms and hands sustain injuries as a victim seeks to keep a vicious dog at bay. It’s a well-known fact that certain breeds of dog are more likely to attack than others. Although the idea of a pit bull terrier attack is something of a cliché, it often holds good.
Last year, for example, in Newport News, a police officer shot dead a pit bull that attacked two children.
Some champions of the breed have claimed pit bulls are being unfairly demonized.
However, a five-year review of dog-bite injuries from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, published in 2009 in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, found that almost 51 percent of all dog attacks were from pit bulls, almost 9 percent were from Rottweilers and 6 percent were from mixes of those two breeds.
In other words pit bulls and Rottweilers accounted for almost two thirds of all dog attacks. It’s a stark statistic.
It should also be borne in mind that these are dogs with powerful jaws and some attacks have proved fatal to children. If your child is nipped by the family Chihuahua, chances are, the injuries sustained will not be serious.
Even if you sustain serious injuries in a dog attack, you may not have grounds to file a successful lawsuit against the owner,
Virginia adheres an archaic “one bite” rule which derives from old English law and suggests each dog is allowed “one free bite.” Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate this rule. If, for instance, the owner or another person who caused the accident has been negligent or has broken a law, such as a leash law, then that person will be held legally liable. Often dogs that attack are out of control.
If you or your child has been wounded by an animal, call me at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077 or see CooperHurley.com