Millions of people are injured by dogs every year across the U.S., most of them children. While many of these incidents involve bites, a recent article in the Journal of Trauma found that children who suffered non-bite injuries caused by dogs often sustained more severe injuries than children who were bitten.
Ways Dogs Can Cause Non-Bite Injuries to Children
Under state law, a dog owner or keeper can be held liable if they knew that the dog was dangerous but did not take the necessary precautions to prevent injuries. Although often referred to as the One Bite Rule, the law also applies to non-bite injuries such as:
- Scratches. Dogs with long or sharp nails can cause lacerations to the face, hands, and exposed skin—especially if they pin a child to the ground.
- Dragging. A child may be pulled to the ground and dragged across rough surfaces by the arm or leg, causing fractures and severe abrasions.
- Choking. A dog may hold a child down by the neck or drag and pull the hood or collar of their shirt, making it hard for the child to breathe.
- Falls. Children may be knocked over, pulled off of a bike, or forcefully struck or pushed by a large dog, causing traumatic head injuries. In some cases, children have fallen while being carried by adults who tripped over a dog.
- Fright injuries. Even if a dog does not attack directly, the fear of the dog can result in injuries. In a "dog fright" injury, a person is injured by defensive action in response to the behavior of a dog. For example, if an untethered dog charges toward a child, the child may instinctively run into the street without checking for cars.
- Emotional trauma. Children may need mental health counseling after sustaining injuries or witnessing a friend being seriously attacked by a dog.
If you or someone you love suffered a serious dog attack injury, contact the legal team at GriffithLaw today. We explain all costs to you up front and don't collect any payment until you receive compensation.