When you think of injuries from a dog attack, the most common would be lacerations, disfigurement, and possibly death.
However, one injury you may not realize is that of a fall.
A dog attack can cause a person to fall and strike their head on concrete or even fall down a flight of stairs. The injuries associated with this alone can be catastrophic.
Philadelphia Pet Owners: You Might be at Risk for Fall Injuries Too
Dogs can bite and cats can scratch, but both can also make you fall down a flight of stairs or trip and fall to the ground. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 80,000 citizens visit their local emergency room each year from falls caused by their pets.
Most of these accidents were not purposeful by the animal and are typically linked to walking the dog or chasing around the family pet. In addition, those citizens over the age of 75 were at more risk for injury.
Fall Injuries Are Not Minor
Think a trip and fall is minor? Think again.
These incidents can lead to serious injuries and sometimes long-term complications.
Just some of the common injuries seen from a slip, trip, or fall accident include:
- Head Injuries: By far the most significant risk is a head injury or traumatic brain injury (TBI). A TBI may be a minor concussion or something more serious like a fractured skull and bleeding inside the brain. TBIs can leave a person with long-term deficits and complications. TBIs are especially common in small children knocked over by pets and the elderly.
- Hip Fractures: For elderly individuals, a hip fracture is more likely. Whether it is a fall down the stairs or onto a hard surface, hip fractures still require hospitalization and usually surgical intervention. A victim might need an artificial hip replacement, which then means extensive rehabilitation and long-term care.
- Back or Spinal Cord Damage: A hard enough impact or a fall down a flight of stairs can result in back injuries or spinal cord damage. When serious enough, a person could be paralyzed, have fractured vertebrae, and suffer from long-term chronic pain.
- Shoulder Injuries: Slips and falls might lead to a shoulder dislocation or brachial plexus injury. Brachial plexus injuries are nerve injuries that are painful, require surgery, and often require follow-up with long-term physical rehabilitation.
- Fractures: Fractures are also likely to the extremities like arms, legs, ankles, and fingers. Fractures can be incredibly painful and require surgery to reset the bones and possibly need physical therapy, depending on how serious the fracture is.
Liability When a Person’s Dog Causes Fall Injuries
The dog may or may not have had the intention of attacking a person. For example, the dog was excited and jumped up to greet a visitor. However, that dog was also 80 pounds and knocked the visitor backwards, making them strike their head on the floor.
While it was not a vicious attack, the dog caused the injury. In most cases, the court would find that the dog’s owner would be liable for the injuries sustained. In this instance, the homeowner’s insurance policy would likely pay for the damages. And unlike vicious attacks, the owner would not have to worry about their dog being quarantined.
What iI a Fall Occurs While Escaping a Vicious Dog?
Perhaps a person is fleeing from a vicious dog – trying desperately to avoid being attacked. During this escape, they fall and break a bone. While they manage to avoid being bitten or mauled by that dog, the dog caused them to fall.
In this case, you face a gray area. Was the fall because of the dog or because of a defect in the walkway? If it was from the dog, how likely was the dog to attack that person and how close was the dog? If the dog was several blocks away, it might be hard to create a link. However, if the dog is mere feet away and ready to attack, then the owner, who was negligent enough to allow that dog to get loose and chase a person down, would still be liable just as if their dog bit that person.
Did You Suffer Fall Injuries from Someone’s Pet? Speak with an Attorney Today
Whether you were running from an animal ready to attack or during the attack you were pushed down, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Dog attacks take many forms. However, falls, trips, and slips are results of an attack that are rarely recognized – but should be.
An attorney should address any injury sustained from a person’s dog. An attorney will review the facts of the case and see if negligence played a role, and they can negotiate a settlement with the insurance company so that you have coverage for:
- Medical Costs: Medical expenses are by far the hardest hit victims take, and they include everything from hospitalizations to surgeries to follow-up care. Get compensation for those you have already paid as well as future expenses projected for your injuries.
- Lost Wages: Severe enough injuries may remove you from work for weeks, months, or permanently. You deserve compensation for your lost wages and loss of earning capacity.
- Pain and Suffering: Injuries from slip, trip, and fall accidents can be excruciatingly painful and emotionally disturbing. You could have PTSD following a vicious attack that caused you to fall and mental anguish following the stress of such a severe injury.
If you were injured in an accident involving an animal, contact attorney Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq. He has experience handling dog attacks and dog injury cases. He can help you seek the compensation you need for your expenses.
Schedule your case evaluation now by calling 800-465-8795 (office), 215-771-0430 (cell), or by filling out his online contact form with your questions.