Articles Posted in Dog Bite Injuries

Thumbnail image for vicious dog.jpgI hate dogs. At least when I am on a bike or out running. I have a dog (“Pisca”), but she is not like those dogs. She does not run out after bicyclists and runners. I keep her inside unless I am walking her, and then she is leashed.

Maybe my view of the world is skewed because I handle a lot Syracuse and Central New York bicycle accident cases, where I see close up how lives, damn good ones, are destroyed by unrestrained dogs.

But I am not the only one who thinks dogs should be restrained. After all, many New York State local lawmakers agree with me. They pass “leash laws”. Many dog owners apparently don’t agree with me and the lawmakers, though, because they let their dogs roam free, leash laws be damned!

vicious dog.jpgThe Syracuse Post Standard reported today that an Auburn, New York police officer suffered muscle wounds and injuries requiring stitches after a pit bull attacked him Sunday night. The officer had walked up a driveway on East Genesee Street to investigate some smoke coming from the back (it turned out to be a pit fire), when a large pit bull charged at him from the porch with such fury that it broke free of its tether. The dog sunk its teeth into the officer’s right arm and right upper leg before the dog’s “dog sitter” pulled the dog free of him.

After years of handling Central New York dog bite cases, I read newspaper articles like this somewhat differently than most people. I “analyze” the case from a “liability” perspective as I read. It’s a professional hazard!

But now that I am on the topic, let’s talk about the liability issues in this case. Is the dog owner, who was not home, liable to the officer? What about the dog “sitter”? Is anyone liable? After all, the dog broke free of its chain, so the owner, or the sitter, had at least taken the precaution of tying the dog up. Does it matter whether they had tried to be careful in securing the dog?

dog.jpgWould you keep an appliance in your home if you knew these facts about it:

(1) It injures about 800,000 people a year in the USA – with one out of every 6 injuries being serious enough to require medical attention.

(2) 75% of the injuries are to the victim’s face.

Thumbnail image for dog.jpg We just learned of a a Seneca County dog bite case, and as usual, the victim was a child. At Michaels & Smolak we take in several dog bite cases a year. While the injuries from dog bites are not usually life threatening, the scarring is often disfiguring and permanent. Especially with children, the bites tend to be in the face.

In this case, the child was only 3 years old, and was visiting an apartment with his parents. The dog looked friendly, so the parents let their guard down, and let their child get close. The dog lunged and bit the child in the face, causing a terrible gash in his nose, requiring 15 stitches. We are hoping for a good recovery. In a way he was lucky; the bite just missed the eye.

I am a runner and bicyclist, and have had my own run-ins with dogs. I have been bitten by dogs twice while running, and a dog caused me to fall off my bicycle once, too. Dog owners are supposed to keep their dogs on their property, but they don’t always do so, especially out in the countryside where I run and bike.

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