On March 11, 2013, a pit bull picked a toddler up in its jaw and began shaking the child violently. This wasn’t a strange pit bull but rather a dog that lived in the home with the child. By the time adults stopped the attack, the 2-year-old had suffered serious wounds that required extensive plastic surgery. What is particularly troubling about this incident is that the dog had bit the child a month earlier but failures by the household and the system left the dangerous animal in the home and the child unprotected.
Was the Attack Preventable?
Plastic surgery for dog bite victims is common, and in most cases, the most unfortunate aspect is how preventable the event was. In this case, the police who responded claimed that animal control did not respond efficiently. Had they arrived sooner, the damage would have been much less severe. A follow-up investigation cleared animal control in this regard, but the organization isn’t without fault.
A month prior, the pit bull bit the toddler, so the family called animal control to have the dog removed. The charge to provide such a service, however, was $130, and that was money that this family simply did not have. Unsure what to do with the dog, the family kept it, which was better than releasing it, but they did not take the proper steps to protect the child.
Surgery Not Unusual When Dogs Bite People In The Face
Plastic surgery for dog bite cases, especially those involving children, is not unusual. In fact, a large percentage of the damages sued for in such lawsuits involve medical expenses. Dogs can do a lot of damage in a very short period, and a quick response is necessary to stave off serious harm. In this case, a grandmother was all that stood between the pit bull and the child, and that simply wasn’t enough.
Your Legal Rights For Damages After A Dog Bite
After a dog bite, there are advanced plastic surgery options that can make it as if the attack never happened, at least in the physical sense. These techniques are not necessarily covered by your insurance and can be a financial burden. However, if you have been attacked by a dog, even if the dog is yours, you may have a right to damages from other parties that can cover those costs. Seek advice from a lawyer who specializes in dog bites immediately.
Today, many plastic surgeons have experience with reconstructive surgery, chemical peels and dermal abrasion to reduce the appearance of a scar left from a dog bite. Before you come to accept that a scar left from a dog attack will be something you you need to live with for the rest of your (or your child’s) life seek out a physician who has experience with these injuries. Even if you cannot afford to pay for the procedure out-of-pocket, many of these future medical expenses can be recouped via a claim or lawsuit against the owner of the dog.