Dr. Phil’s Dog Bite Case: Harris v. McGraw D.C. Dog Bite Lawyer
Television personality Dr. Phil McGraw found himself in hot water in 2013.
His wife invited a friend, Janet Harris, over to their house. Upon arriving, the McGraw’s dog bit Ms. Harris. Rather than seek immediate medical attention at a hospital, Dr. Phil convinced Ms. Harris to let him contact a friend of his – a nurse. The nurse prescribed antibiotics. He did this to avoid short term bad press.
Dr. Phil’s decision seriously backfired.
Harris developed a bacterial infection that led to permanent hearing loss and tremors in one of her hands; the injuries forced her to shut down her business.
Harris sued Dr. Phil for $7 million in damages. Her intention was to recover lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. The court denied Dr. Phil’s motion to dismiss, and the case settled in 2013.
Dog bite injuries range from minor to life threatening. Most are minor cuts, scratches, and bruises. These usually do not require a hospital visit; a band aid and Neosporin should do the trick.
More serious dog bite injuries are deep wounds and infections. Severe bites can result in torn muscles and ligaments, and may require surgery and stitches.
The most dangerous possible injury, besides immediate death, from a dog bite is bacterial. Once a dog’s teeth puncture the skin, bacteria is injected into the body. Tetanus, pasteurella, and MRSA are common.
Tetanus is found in soil and can lead to lockjaw, difficulty swallowing, and occasional death.
Pasteurella is found in 75% of dog bites. The infection causes redness and inflammation, sometimes abscesses.
MRSA is a deadly infection because it does not respond to common antibiotics. It can lead to skin irritations like blisters and abscesses and can travel to the bloodstream and lungs.
Rabies is less common, but especially potent. Rabies is spread through the saliva of infected animals. It is fatal if not treated, though most pets are vaccinated. Rabies causes flu-like symptoms, discomfort, cerebral dysfunction, and delirium.
Homeowners insurance should cover medical costs. To prevail in a suit, you’ll have to show that this was not the first incident with the dog and that the owner was negligent.
If you’ve been bitten by a dog and injured, contact the attorneys at Cohen & Cohen today immediately. We consider ourselves one of the best attorneys in the Washington, D.C. area based on experience and record, and can help get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (202) 955-4529 for a free case evaluation.