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The bite was worse than the bark

Dog attacks are on the increase in the US. In many cases, the bite is worse than the bark.

Some people figure it’s not worth going out of their way to hire a lawyer to chase after someone whose dog took a chunk out of their arm or another part of their anatomy. The bite may seem minor, they might think no one files a lawsuit over a dog bite or they may even think asking for damages just because a dog bit them is silly. Think again. Dog bites are on the increase in the U.S., and those who are bitten are not in the minority any longer.

“Furthermore, consider the facts of what may happen when you get bitten,” said Charlie Donahue, a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States. “That huge hole you have in your hand, head or foot could become infected and will definitely require stitches, if not plastic surgery, later. If you have diabetes, cancer or another type of immunodeficiency syndrome, your system may not be strong enough to fight an infection. All these things cost money to fix, meaning you should file a claim to recover your medical expenses.”

Dog attacks are far more frequent than we would like to think. After all, many of us have furry friends in the house, next door and down the street, and we relate to them like family, because in many ways they are members of the family. The thing is, dogs are still pack animals and instinctively have a hierarchy in their homes and when they are out with their humans. The owner is the pack leader, and the dog will take action if someone threatens the pack leader.

“While you might not know this, dog bites are actually one of the most common types of personal injury lawsuits in the US. For example, statistics show that just about 2 percent of the population gets bitten every year. If you do the math, that is close to 4.7 million people,” Donahue said. Furthermore, there are at least 25 people killed every year because a dog attacked them. “And, yes, fatal attacks are on the rise as well. For instance, in the 1990s, fatal attacks averaged out at 17 per year. In 2009, 30 people died. This is not exactly good news,” he said.

“Why are dog attacks more frequent now than they used to be? It has to do with the fact they are the most favored pet in the US. Over 40 percent of households in the nation have a dog, which means close to 75 million dogs reside across the country. That’s a huge potential for situations where man (or child) meets dog and dog bites man. In fact, just about 77 percent of all bites are due to dogs that are family or belong to friends, and nearly half of those attacks happen at home,” said Donahue, the New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene.

“Still don’t think a dog bite is that serious or that one will happen to you? Consider this: one in six attacks are usually serious enough to land you in the hospital and you will likely wind up with disabilities or chronic long-term injuries. If this has happened to you, call me, you deserve compensation for situations like that,” he said.

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