On January 13th, a child was hospitalized from a severe dog bite. The child was transported by first responders in a helicopter to a trauma center. Fortunately, the one-year-old child’s injuries were not fatal, and they received proper medical attention promptly.
The tragic events leading to the child’s hospitalization illuminates a common cause of concern in Maryland: dog bites. Every day in the United States, 9,500 people are hospitalized because of dog bites. Dogs often attack children because children are more likely to mishandle a dog, and they’re also smaller targets and more vulnerable.
If your child is bitten by a dog, you need to know what immediate actions to take and what you should do to recover compensation.
At around 6:17 PM on January 13th, emergency medical technicians responded to a call on Mill Pond Road. A family dog bit a nine-month-old child. Fortunately, the family was able to restrain the dog, and the child’s injuries didn’t appear life-threatening. The child was still conscious but was bleeding from their injuries and required additional medical attention. Maryland State Police Aviation transported the infant to a trauma center to receive medical assistance.
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office as well as Animal Control were investigating the case as of January 13th, but no additional news has come to light about the dog or the dog’s owners.
The incident in Hollywood, Maryland, shows that you need to practice caution around dogs, especially if it’s a stray. If you and your child are approached by a dog, you need to take the following precautions:
- Stay calm around the dog, and DO NOT make any sudden moves that could alarm them. Additionally, don’t scream or make loud noises that could cause the dog to think that you’re a threat.
- Avoid making eye contact with the dog because the dog may take this as a threat. Additionally, you should try to block the dog’s line of sight to you and your child. If there’s an object nearby, such as a purse or umbrella, you can place it so that the dog doesn’t see your child.
- Slowly pick up your child so their head and neck are farther away from the dog if they attack. You should also tell your child to curl up into a ball so that their vital organs are more protected.
- If the dog bites you or your child, try to avoid pulling away from the dog. Pulling away from a dog that’s already clamped down mid-bite can result in more serious injuries.
- If the dog doesn’t let go, try to disorient the animal by putting something over its face. If you need to fight it, aim for their eyes or ears. Using force against the dog should be a last resort because this could escalate the situation and make the dog more aggressive if you’re unable to disorient or impair it.
- After the dog stops attacking, don’t turn your back on it. You could leave yourself or your child vulnerable to another attack if you turn around.
You should always be ready to address a potential dog bite, especially if you have a child. If you or your child suffers from a dog bite, you need to:
- Seek medical attention and call 911 if it’s an emergency injury. Dog bites often lead to rabies and infection, so you should always receive medical attention even if the bite is minor.
- Find the dog owner. If you’re able to identify the owner, you can find out if the dog has received rabies vaccinations. You should also collect the owner’s information in the event that you file a claim against them.
- You need to contact animal control so that the dog doesn’t hurt anyone else. This is especially critical if the dog is loose without an owner.
- Collect all relevant information about the case such as animal control documentation, police reports, witness testimonies, witness contact information, and insurance company documentation. This will help you build your case if you file a personal injury claim.
- Take pictures of your or your child’s injuries and make sure to keep proof of all relevant medical bills and documentation.
- Keep track of your health or child’s health including any emotional or physical struggles that may have resulted from the dog attack.
- Contact an expert dog-bite lawyer.
If your child suffered from a dog bite, you could receive compensation for injuries. Navigating a dog-bite claim can be difficult because there are different factors determining liability. You need legal experts at your side to help you prove that someone was at fault for your or your child’s injuries. You could recover compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and more.
Here at Zirkin & Schmerling Law, our dog-bite lawyers have many years of experience helping Maryland residents receive compensation from negligent dog owners. If you or your child was injured by a dog, contact our office at 410-753-4611. We offer 24/7 consultations, and you can also schedule a free dog-bite consultation here.