The dog bite lawyers at Buckfire & Buckfire P.C. often represent kids who are injured by dog bite and attacks. These often result in severe scars and injuries on a child that require medical treatment. We have obtained significant Michigan settlements for children injured in these types of dog bite attacks.

The American Humane Association states, approximately 4.7 million dog bites occur in the U.S. each year. Out of the 4.7 million dog bites that occur, nearly 800,000 require medical care costing $1 billion in claims every year. In most cases fatal dog bites attacks occur from male dogs that aren’t neutered, chained dogs, and unrestrained dogs.

Dog bites on kids are unfortunately all too common. Researchers have suggested the main cause of aggression in dogs, especially against kids, stems from territorial behavior.  Reasons that dogs bite children often include:

  • Children under the age of 6 were more likely to be bitten when a dog felt the kids were threatening to take his food or toys.
  • Older children were bitten when the dog felt the kids were intruding on his territory.
  • A dog was more likely to bite a kid he knew while the dog was guarding his food.
  • A dog was more likely to bite a kid he didn’t know while he was protecting his territory.

Dog bites on a child are painful and frightening.  A bite on the fact of child can lead to permanent scarring and disfigurement.  Quite often, a child may need plastic surgery to correct the scar later in life.  A child with a visible scar will often feel self-conscious and be withdrawn around other children. Claims and lawsuits for a dog bite on a child include the demand for compensation for:

Settlements in Michigan dog bite lawsuits are typically paid by the homeowner’s insurance company for the dog owner.  These settlements can be significant if the child suffered multiple bites or had an injury requiring medical treatment.  An experienced dog bite lawyer can help the child obtain the maximum settlement.

Are Dog Bites on Children Common?

Dogs often play an important role in many families. They are considered guard dogs, companions, and friends. Regrettably, this partnership is not without problems. It is becoming more apparent that dog bites are a serious and often underestimated public health problem. Dog bites in children are commonly influenced by breed-related behavior of the dog, dog owners, children, and parents.

Children who are younger than 10 years represent the high-risk group for dog attacks. Often, this is because children tend to underestimate the danger rising from dogs due to their lack of experience with dogs.

According to reports, 95 percent of the time, the dog was known to the dog bite victim and family, belonging either to the family, friend, or neighbor. Most dog bite attacks occur when a child was playing, petting, or interacting with the dog with no supervision. Dog bites in children are frequent and influenced by the breed-related behavior of dogs, dog owners, children, and parents. Children who are younger than 10 years old represent the high-risk group for dog attacks.

In addition, research has shown that most plastic surgeons treating dog bite injuries in children advise parents about the possible need for further surgery for scar revision, and provide counseling to align expectations with expected surgical outcomes. After suffering injuries from a dog bite attack a child will suffer from high psycho-sociological consequences of trauma that can burden the quality of life of the affected child and his or her family such as low self-esteem and post-traumatic stress disorder.

When bites and attacks happen in children, they often occur in the facial region and require plastic surgery at a later time. Due to the age of the child, the surgeon may choose to wait to perform surgical revisions until early adulthood. This means the child could suffer the embarrassment and humiliation of the scar through adolescence, a period in which they are very self-conscious of their appearance. The aesthetic and psycho-sociological consequences of trauma caused by a dog bite can burden the quality of life of the affected child and his or her family.

Can a Parent File a Michigan Dog Bite Lawsuit for a Child?

Parents in Michigan can file a dog bite lawsuit or claim for their child. Under Michigan law, a person cannot bring their own lawsuit until the age of 18. However, a parent, guardian, or other family member can bring the claim on behalf of the child. This is a common occurrence for dog bite cases.

The process for parents filing dog bite claims for a child is relatively simple. First, it is important to contact an experienced lawyer to assist you with the claim. There are specific requirements for bringing claims on behalf of a child and the failure to follow those procedures can ruin the case.

For example, a parent cannot agree to a settlement with an insurance company without getting the permission from a judge to settle the claim. The judge will want to see the child’s injuries in person to make sure that the settlement was fair and in the child’s best interest. A parent or guardian cannot even sign the Release of All Claims for the settlement without getting approval from the court first.

Also, the settlement funds must be placed in an account that prohibits the money from being spent without court permission. There are specific forms that must be filed with the county probate court to even set up this account in the first place. Many times, the settlement money is used to buy an insurance policy that provides payments for college and other needs after the child turns 18 years old. Again, the court must approve the terms of this policy.

Determining the settlement value of a child dog bite is a job for an attorney that has handled these cases in the past. There are many considerations that go into the amount of the settlement and the experienced lawyers at our firm know how to get the maximum possible settlement in these cases. Once you agree to a settlement you cannot come back at a later date and ask for more money, so it is important that you have the best legal representation to get you or your child the highest settlement and to make sure that all legal procedures have been followed with the courts.

Contact a Michigan Child Dog Bite Lawyer

If your child  suffered injuries in a dog bite attack, you should contact our dog bite lawyers immediately.  We have attained substantial Michigan dog bite lawsuits for victims of dog bite attacks, and we can do the same for you. Call us now to speak with one of our experienced attorneys about your case. We do not charge a fee unless you win.

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