DOG BIT EAR – OWNER INSURANCE RESPONSIBLE
A dog bite lawyer in our office is working on a case right now where the dog of our client’s parents bit our client’s ear and actually tore off a large part of her ear. Our client was loading Christmas presents in the back of her parents’ vehicle when the attack occurred. The dog was in the back of the vehicle at the time. Because of where the dog was standing in the back of the vehicle, and our client’s height, the dog’s head was near her shoulder/face. All of a sudden, with no warning, the dog lunged at our client, chomping onto the right side of her head and ear. Our client froze, and had enough presence of mind to try to hold herself still, because she knew that the dog had hold of her ear and she was worried if she pulled away, he would pull her ear with him. Her dad grabbed the dog and tried to pull the dog away, when the dog actually attacked her dad (the dog owner). Unfortunately, despite our client’s best efforts, the dog ripped off a part of her ear.
She wanted a top rated MN dog bite lawyer to take on her case. When she called us, our attorneys understood her injuries from the dog attack were considerable. As evidenced by the photographs, the dog bit part of her right ear completely off, as well as pulling out some of her hair from her skull. No one wants to sue their own parents, but her parents have homeowners insurance that covers a dog attack, so our client hired a best dog bite attorney to pursue the insurance claim for her.
Immediately after being bitten by the dog, the remaining portion of our client’s ear began bleeding profusely. She ran into the house, grabbed a towel to cover her ear, and she was rushed to North Memorial Hospital. The rest of the ear was found later.
An examination showed an amputation of the right ear from the top of the ear/helix down to the lobule of the ear, with the auricular tubercle missing. There was also a laceration to the right ear lobe. A plastic surgeon was called in. The doctor’s examination showed an avulsion and degloving injury to the right ear because of the dog attack. The plastic surgeon performed surgery to close the area of the amputation of the ear, as well as suturing the laceration to the right ear lobe. The operative report notes that the plastic surgeon had to cut off non-viable skin and cartilage from the helix down to the lobule. A flap of skin was pulled over the cartilage in an attempt to cover the amputated area. The doctor noted that she had difficulties performing the repair as “there [were] many areas of shredded skin that had to be pieced together like a puzzle with many separate sutures.” The laceration was covered with antibiotic ointment, xeroform, and gauze compression, as well as a stockinette dressing and Kerlix fluffs.
After returning home from the hospital, our client told the dog bite lawyer, she realized that not only did she sustain an injury to her ear, but the dog had pulled out some of her hair from her head, leaving her with a bald spot. To this date (three months after the attack) her hair has not grown back in the bald spot. Her recovery from her injuries has been slow and difficult. For days after the incident she suffered from nausea from the medication and she had difficulties sleeping (due to pain and throbbing in her ear). She has also been suffering from bouts of crying and depression since the incident. The deformity of her ear, combined with the pain, swelling, fatigue (from lack of sleep), and throbbing in her head and ear, has been overwhelming for her. The primary focus of our dog bite lawyers in MN, is to make sure our client is completely compensated for this terrible incident, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and compensation for the permanent scar from losing part of her ear.
Our client has been unable to work since the dog attack. She had been earning $25.00 per hour, at least 30 hours per week, and was scheduled to continue working at her present job through the end of the year.
Our client told our dog bite dog attack attorney that she has had follow up with the doctor to assess the healing of the ear. At the first follow up visit the plastic surgeon discussed reconstruction surgery of the ear which could include a “wedge excision with closure, which would leave her with a much smaller ear overall, versus a complete reconstruction of the ear with a rib cartilage graft and burying this in her posterior auricular area.” The doctor noted that the latter would be a quite involved surgery. The doctor also said no reconstruction could be done for at least three to six months from her original surgery as there was a lot of swelling and scarring anticipated. Recommendations have since been made for “bepedicled tubed pedicle” procedure which would potentially provide better soft tissue contour, but would not include cartilage to the ear to add form to the ear. Therefore, if our client chooses to undergo surgery, she will still have a deformed/disfigured ear, as the surgery will still leave her with a much smaller and disfigured ear, as compared to her other ear, for the rest of her life. Our client is only 37 years old and a single woman. This deformity will affect her socially and professionally (as she seeks future jobs), for the rest of her life.
If you have been attacked or bitten by a dog, call us and speak with our experienced dog bite lawyers for a free consultation. Pam Rochlin and David Rochlin are MN dog bite lawyers with more than 25 years’ experience handling hundreds of dog bite and other accident cases throughout Minnesota. You can meet with a dog bite lawyer at our offices in Edina, Minneapolis, St. Louis Park or Woodbury. Our dog bite attorneys also make house calls and will meet you and your home to discuss your case in St. Paul, Roseville, Apple Valley, Albert Lea, Burnsville, Mankato, Brooklyn Center, and other cities throughout Minnesota.