The Mn Criminal Defense, Personal Injury & Family Law Blog
Dog Bite Injuries and Brainerd, MN Accident Lawyers
November 27, 2019
Every year, dogs bite over four million Americans, and many of these attacks cause serious injuries. Typically, these injuries are difficult to treat, which means they are expensive to treat. In fact, many of these victims need costly reconstructive surgery and extensive post-operation therapy. Even then, the wounds may never fully heal.
Since so much is at stake, insurance companies often fight these claims tooth and nail. As a rule, the higher the damages go, the more an insurance company tried to prevent fair compensation.
So, Brainerd, MN accident lawyers must bring their A-game in these situations. Otherwise, the victim may not receive sufficient compensation for all economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Direct Dog Bite Injuries
Animal attacks, particularly if the dog was a pit bull or another aggressive large breed dog, are very well known for their often-gruesome physical injuries.
When dogs bite, their teeth often cause both deep puncture wounds and severe tearing lacerations. These puncture wounds often pierce internal organs. Since these body parts have no protective skin layer, any puncture could cause enormous bleeding. The same is true of tearing lacerations. Many times, after a particularly vicious attack, the victim may have little skin left around the bite area.
Because of all this blood loss, many dog bite victims are already on the edge of hypovolemic shock by the time emergency responders arrive. That’s especially true if the victim was vulnerable to injury, perhaps because of age or a pre-existing condition.
Usually, before dogs bite, they lunge at their victims and knock them to the ground. The knockdown often causes broken bones, head injuries, and other wounds.
Indirect Animal Attack Injuries
Dog bite victims often struggle with infections, such as Pasteurella infections. Normally, this bacterial infection is not terribly serious. The victim may experience additional pain and swelling, but many dog bite victims are already in excruciating pain. However, Pasteurella infections may be serious or even fatal in some cases.
Compounding the situation, many people do not experience infection symptoms for two weeks. By that time, they have probably been transferred to one of the aforementioned dog bite treatment centers. These professionals are not used to dealing with infections. Once Pasteurella infections spread, they become very serious and very difficult to eradicate.
Frequently, an infection is a separate legal matter. Compensation is available, but to obtain it, a Brainerd, MN accident lawyer may need to look at other legal options.
Invisible Dog Bite Injuries
Animal attacks do not just cause visible, physical wounds. They cause brain injuries as well. Brainerd, MN accident lawyers must work particularly hard in this area.
The aforementioned knockdown brain injuries are not just bumps on the head. Sudden, violent motion causes the brain to slam against the insides of the skull. This motion scrambles the brain without breaking the skull, just like shaking an egg and scrambling its insides.
Moreover, dog bites often cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-type symptoms. Exposure to extreme life-or-death stress, like combat or dog bites, creates a chemical imbalance in the brain. These imbalances are especially serious among child victims. The lingering symptoms often include an unnatural fear of dogs, flashbacks, and nightmares.
How a Brainerd, MN Accident Lawyer Helps
All these treatments and injuries sound expensive, and they are expensive. Making matters worse, many health insurance companies do not cover injury-related costs.
To relieve the financial pressure, Brainerd, MN accident lawyers typically send letters of protection to medical providers. Since the letters guarantee payment when the case is resolved, the providers charge nothing upfront. Additionally, when the case settles, a Brainerd, MN accident lawyer can negotiate with the provider and obtain a lower fee.
As a bonus, letters of protection ensure that dog bite victims see dog bit physicians. Victims do not have to settle for the doctor that an insurance company provides.
Even more importantly, Brainerd, MN accident lawyers build damages claims. In Crow Wing County, dog bite victims usually have several options. Minnesota has a very broad strict liability law. These cases are rather easy to prove, but sometimes, jurors award limited damages in strict liability cases.
Scienter (knowledge) may be a better approach. If the owner knew the animal was potentially vicious and the dog attacked someone, many jurors are very sympathetic to victims. Obviously, however, scienter is only available in some situations. Evidence of knowledge includes things like prior attacks or pre-bite behavior like aggressive barking or sudden lunging.
Reach Out to an Experienced Attorney
Dog bites often cause very serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced Brainerd, MN accident lawyer, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. We routinely handle matters in Crow Wing County and nearby jurisdictions.