When a person or family gets a dog, the children may be fixated on the new personality in their home. However, adults are thinking of the new responsibilities they picked up along with the new pooch. There is training to complete and toys, food, equipment and more to buy. Leashes and perhaps muzzles are early purchases, because people are responsible for the behavior of their dog.
When a dog bite or attack is severe or even fatal, it may make the local news. However, dog bites occur all of the time for which the owner may be liable civilly and possibly even criminally.
How serious can dog bites be? Damage and threat to health has more to do with the intensity and location of a bite. Dogs often engage in play involving open mouths or "pre-bites" that cause little or no injury. Bites without broken skin may still show bruising within hours or days, while more serious bites or scratches may cause penetrative trauma or perhaps permanent disfigurement.
Children are at particular risk because they're closer to a dog's face and they can be easily overpowered and forced to the ground by a dog. Often they don't understand that what they consider play may be seen as taunting or even as a threat by a dog.
Medical attention is always the first and most important priority after an animal bite or attack. Legal representation should be a close second. An attorney can analyze the situation if an animal was another person's responsibility and counsel victims and their families about where legal liability lies for medical expenses and other costs.