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New Study: Child Dog Bites Come From Familiar Places

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The following is a guest post from child injury lawyer Ken Levinson of The Safest Line.

A new dog bite injury study conducted by Vikram Durairaj, MD of the University of Colorado School of Medicine found that the likelihood of a child getting biten by a dog is around 50% with 80% of those bites involving the head and neck.

And, according to a new study released by the Albany Medical Center, about one in seven children who receive emergency treatment for dog bite injuries to the face, sustain injuries to the eye, which are more likely to have complications and need revision surgery.

The most surprising information out of this study is that most bites come from family dogs or dogs of family friends or relatives. As parents, it is important to know you child’s legal rights if he or she is bitten by a dog.

In a recent dog bite case of my own this year, we were able to reach a $100,000 settlement for a child bitten by the neighbor’s dog:

In June 2009, an off-duty police officer brought his dog to his neighbor’s house. Unbeknownst to the neighbor, the officer tied his dog to a railing outside. While the two friends were visiting, the neighbor’s daughter came home from school, certainly not expecting a dog to be there. The girl ran right past the dog, who was hidden behind the bushes near the front door. The dog was startled and attacked the girl, biting her in the bicep. She was immediately taken to the hospital, but, given the severity of her injuries, there was not much that could be done for her other than giving her 22 stitches. She incurred about $3500.00 in medical expenses.

The money won will be used for her medical expenses in years to come as many dog bite injuries have recurring issues.

Dogs certainly do deserve the moniker of man’s best friend, but at their core, they are still animals that don’t always see child safety as a priority. Teach your children to avoid strange dogs and not to taunt or provoke even known dogs.

Ken Levinson is a child injury lawyer and child safety advocate. If your child has been injured or biten by a dog please call Ken Levinson at Joseph, Lichtenstein and Levinson at 312.346.9270 or e-mail ken@thesafestline.com. Although based in Chicago, Ken works on child injury cases across the country.

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