Various news organizations recently reported about 3-year-old Victoria Wilcher and her family who were asked to leave a Jackson, Mississippi KFC restaurant because of the girl’s facial injuries. An employee is alleged to have approached the family in the restaurant while they were eating and told them that the girl’s injuries were disturbing other diners and they would have to leave. KFC is conducting an investigation into the incident and have already been in touch with the family.
The girl’s facial injuries were the result of a dog attack she suffered just a few months earlier. While visiting her grandfather, three of his pit bull dogs burst through the door to his trailer and attacked her. Victoria’s nose, jawbones, and cheekbones were all broken, as was her right eye socket. The right side of her face is paralyzed and she has lost the use of her right eye.
Dog Bite Statistics
Victoria’s ordeal tells much to the general public about dog bite victims. Depending on which authority one uses, almost half of all households in the United States have at least one dog. In some parts of the country, dog bites and attacks are on the rise. Consider the following facts:
· Any dog – even a familiar or family dog – is capable of biting
· Millions of Americans are bitten by dogs each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 885,000 of these victims require medical attention; half of these are children.
· In 2006, there were over 6,000 dog bite-related injuries in Massachusetts; 146 of these required hospital admission
· In 2012, over 27,000 individuals underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of a dog bite
· Children, especially those between the ages of 5 and 9, are at an increased risk of being attacked by dogs and are more likely to need medical care than adults. Children are also more likely to be attacked about their head and neck
Recovering from a Dog Attack
As Victoria’s experience shows, a dog bite or attack can be a terrifying ordeal and result in serious, permanent injuries. These injuries can include broken bones, puncture-type wounds, scarring and disfigurement. A dog is also capable of transmitting rabies through its bite. Medical costs and reconstructive surgery can result in significant expenses. Other costs associated with a dog attack can include mental and emotional pain and suffering, rehabilitation costs, and costs for assistive devices or services.
Contact us today at (508) 755-7535 for a free consultation if you or a loved one has been injured by a dog. Massachusetts is a “strict liability” state when it comes to dog bites, meaning that a dog owner is responsible for the damage and injuries his or her dog causes to another regardless of whether the dog was known to be vicious or had previously attacked another.
A dog owner can escape liability, however, if it is shown that the victim was trespassing, teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog, or was committing another tort. A child victim under the age of seven is presumed to have been doing none of these prior to the attack.
We can help you or your loved one recover compensation after a dog bite.