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What Are the Levels of Dog Bites?

When you suffer a dog bite, the results can be disastrous. Dog bite or attacks have been known to leave victims not only with grave physical injuries but also emotional trauma. On top of that, the cost of receiving medical treatment may feel exorbitant.

The good news is that you may be able to recover damages for your losses by filing a dog bite claim with help from a West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer. The amount you could receive in a settlement or jury decision will depend on the severity of the injuries you received. So what are the levels of dog bites? Read on to find out.

What to Know About Dog Bites

All across the country, millions of people get bitten by dogs every year. In many of these cases, the wounds are serious enough to require medical attention.

Fortunately, the vast majority of dog bites are minor. But that fact will comfort you little if you’ve been mauled by a vicious animal.

One way to assess the severity of a dog bite is by the Dunbar Scale, which categorizes dog bites according to the following six levels:

  1. Level One – “Obnoxious” or otherwise annoying behavior, but no skin-teeth contact
  2. Level Two – Evidence of skin-tooth contact, but no puncturing of skin (beyond minor skin nicks or cuts)
  3. Level Three – A single bite resulting in one to four puncture wounds, with no puncture resulting deeper than one half the length of the dog’s canine tooth
  4. Level Four – Same as above, but with at least one puncture being deeper than one half the length of the dog’s canine tooth. Additionally, there may be some bruising or lacerations near the wound.
  5. Level Five – Multiple bites, with at least two of them being level-four wounds; or a multiple-attack incident
  6. Level Six – The victim perishes from the wounds.

As the makers of the scale state, over 99% of dog bites fall into category one or two. As can be appreciated, however, the potential for disaster is high the further up the scale you go.

What to Do After a Dog Bites You

After a dog bite, your first concern must always be your health. Exchange contact information with the dog’s owner, if possible. If the owner cannot provide proof of the dog’s vaccination records, or if you don’t know who the owner is, you may find yourself on the hook for a rabies shot, which can sometimes run into the thousands of dollars.

When you file a claim, your damages will often be paid out by the at-fault owner’s homeowner’s insurance. Compensation is never guaranteed—but a lawyer can give you the best chance of collecting a settlement.

Contact a Lawyer When You’ve Been Bitten by a Dog

Have you suffered financial losses as the result of a dog bite injury? You may be entitled to compensation. Let a lawyer from The Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo review your case.

Call 561-659-6366 or fill out the form below to contact a lawyer from The Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo for a free consultation.