A West Virginia Sheriff’s deputy from Martinsburg is back on the job this week after being severely bitten by a dog at a private residence. On July 13, 2009, deputy W. D. Christian was trying to serve legal documents when a dog believed to be a large Rottweiler attacked him. Although the dog did not initially appear aggressive, he lunged at the deputy from inside the house, causing deep puncture wounds to his right wrist.
Although signs of a dog’s presence were posted on the property, who’s at fault in this case? The deputy or the dog’s owner? Dog bite cases happen all the time in West Virginia, and sometimes it’s tough to determine who’s at fault.
Although some dog bites are minor, many can cause disfigurement and serious injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), dogs bite 4.5 million Americans each year, and one in five dog bites require medical attention. The costs associated with treating a dog bite can be quite high, depending on the severity of the case. In addition to stitches, bandages, anesthetic and antibiotics, you may need blood tests to rule out rabies or other blood-borne diseases that domesticated pets can carry.
If you own a dog or have been bitten by an aggressive dog or other domesticated animal, it’s important that you contact a personal injury lawyer. Even if you’re not sure you have a case, a lawyer can help you decide the best course of action to take.