When someone has been bitten by a dog, they may hire attorneys in case they need to sue for their medical bills and other costs. Are dog bites serious? They certainly can be. A serious bite can ruin nerves and tendons and cause a lot of damage to the victim. If you are bit by a dog without shots, it can be difficult to know if you have been exposed to rabies or not. Often, this means you have to get treatment for possible rabies. This involves a lot of injections and can be a difficult experience.
With a bite by a puppy without a rabies shot, there is a lesser chance of rabies, but it certainly does exist. Even a bite from a puppy can be difficult and can damage the area of the bite. Some puppies are quite large, and they can do a lot of damage. If you have been bitten by any dog, it’s important to get the dog’s shot history so that you know if you may have been exposed to one or more diseases. If you can’t find the owner or the dog to examine, it is usually prescribed that you undergo the treatments as if you were exposed.
A West Virginia woman is suing the House of Representatives to the tune of $200,000. Two years ago, she suffered a dog bite in a congressional office while visiting Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA). According to the Washington Post, Elizabeth Crawford filed a federal lawsuit on Friday.
Crawford was visiting the Senator’s office in January of 2013. When Crawford bent to pick up a pen she had dropped, a staffer’s dog named Who Dey bit her right index finger. According to the lawsuit, Crawford claims to have suffered “severe and permanent bodily injuries and mental anguish; she has incurred medical expenses attempting to cure herself of such injuries; and her normal, social and recreational activities have been curtailed.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that there are about 3.7 million instances of dog bites in the United States each year. Twelve to 15 of those victims die as a result of infections. The dog that bit Crawford was apparently not up-to-date on its rabies shots.
The amount Crawford is asking for is quite a bit more than the cost of the medical expenses associated with the bite. Surgery to straighten a tendon and rabies shots amounted to $26,000. The remaining $174,000 is for pain and suffering.
Nearly half of all Americans will suffer a bite wound in their lifetimes, but these cases don’t always escalate to personal injury lawsuits. In any case, determining liability can be difficult, so it’s unclear whether or not Crawford will get the compensation she’s seeking.