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New Reconstruction Surgery Saved 7-year-old Dog Bite Victim's Life

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- 7-year-old Kaeden Mitchell was attacked by a Rottweiler last month in Niagra Falls, leaving him with potentially life-threatening injuries, according to The Buffalo News.

On the day Kaeden was attacked, his mother, Vikki Avino, had dropped him off at his babysitter's house just a few streets from their own home. His babysitter, Keri Ann Sweatman, owned two Rottweilers.

Niagara Falls Police Lt. Jason G. Sykes told The Buffalo News that when he arrived on the scene, Kaeden was bent on his knees and covered in blood. Sweatman was holding back one of the Rottweilers while the other stood to her side.

Sykes estimated that each dog weighed up to 160 pounds.

In the attack, both of Kaeden's vertebral arteries were torn, blocking blood flow to his brain, according to Dr. Elad Levy, medical director of neroendovascular services at the Gates Vascular Institute

Levy told The Buffalo News that it is very rare for someone to survive such an injury. In Kaeden's case, smaller blood vessels in other parts of his brain were keeping him alive.

However, Levy said it was essential that the surgical team find a way to open up the vessels, or the outcome could have been tragic.

Because Kaeden's case was such a rare one, there was no standard procedure in place to repair the arteries. Two medical teams from Gates Vascular and Women & Children's Hospital came up with a new procedure that would rebuild the artery using a self-expanding stent designed originally for cases of aneurysm in an adult brain.

The surgeons conducted the new procedure by driving a wire measuring fourteen-thousandths of an inch in thickness through one of the arteries to Kaeden's brain.

Kaeden's procedure marked the first recorded stend reconstruction of its kind performed on a child in the country.

The surgical team was able to open one of the two arteries. The other remains closed, but the one artery has proved to be robust enough to provide sufficient blood flow to the entire brain.

Levy told the Buffalo News that Kaeden was very lucky that the one artery was enough.

The stent used in the procedure will remain in Kaeden for the rest of his life. Over time, the cells of the inner wall will grow over it and it will become a part of him, Levy told the Buffalo News.

Kaeden will only need one or two more surgeries to complete the reconstruction of his scalp. Doctors say he has already made great progress, and although he'll have to avoid some activities like contact sports and roller-coaster rides from now on, his mom says he is already back to doing many of the things he loves.

Why are We Reporting This Story on our Website?

Our website was created to provide important news and legal information to accident and injury victims throughout the state of Michigan. Quite often, insurance companies and their investigators meet with victims and their families shortly after an accident. They attempt to obtain evidence and information that will help them defend the case later and often get victims to sign statements that are against their own interest.

Should you ever find yourself the victim of an attack or accident, we want our site to be a comprehensive resource for you. Our goal is to provide valuable information to victims and their family members to prevent them from being taken advantage of by the insurance companies and their attorneys. We offer free books to consumers so they can understand their legal rights, whether they choose to hire an attorney or handle the claim on their own. We have given away many thousands of free legal guides over the last ten years for this purpose.

If you or someone you care about is the subject of this story and would like it removed from our website, please e-mail [email protected] and we will remove it from our site.

What To Do If A Dog Bites You in Michigan

If you or someone you care about was bitten or attacked by a dog in Michigan, you should take the following steps:

  • Place a clean towel over the injury to stop any bleeding.
  • Try to keep the injured area elevated.
  • Wash the bite carefully with soap and water.
  • Apply a sterile bandage to the wound.
  • Get prompt medical attention at a hospital, urgent care clinic, or doctor's office
  • Notify Animal Control or the Police Department and file a written report
  • Take photographs of the injuries as soon as possible after the dog bite
  • Contact our experienced dog bite attorneys to see if you are eligible for a settlement

What Are The Michigan Dog Bite Laws?

MCL Section 287.351 is the Michigan law for dog bites and attacks.

(1) If a dog bites a person, without provocation while the person is on public property, or lawfully on private property, including the property of the owner of the dog, the owner of the dog shall be liable for any damages suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness.

(2) A person is lawfully on the private property of the owner of the dog within the meaning of this act if the person is on the owner's property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him or her by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or if the person is on the owner's property as an invitee or licensee of the person lawfully in possession of the property unless said person has gained lawful entry upon the premises for the purpose of an unlawful or criminal act.

In addition to the dog bite statute, Michigan also has common laws that are used for victims to make claims for injuries caused in an attack.   Under Michigan’s common law, the dog attack victim only has to prove that the owner of the dog knew (or should have known) that the dog had vicious propensities.  A dog owner is also liable if the dog was not on a leash at the time of the attack if the attack occurred on public property, like a park, public street, or neighboring property.

How We Help You After a Dog Bite or Attack

Our dog bite injury attorneys will get the animal control reports, police reports, medical records, and medical bills. We then contact the insurance company for the dog owner to set up your claim. We will deal directly with the insurance adjuster to get your medical bills paid and you reimbursed for your out of pocket medical expenses.

We then negotiate with the insurance adjuster to get you the highest possible settlement for your case. If you do not receive a fair settlement offer, we file a dog bite lawsuit on your behalf. Suing for a dog bite doesn't have to be difficult and we handle everything from start to finish. We will do everything to make this a stress free process for you.

Best Michigan Dog Bite & Animal Attack Lawyers

Buckfire & Buckfire Best LawyersOur legal team includes the most successful dog bite attorneys in Michigan. Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. and our lawyers have won the top awards in the legal profession, including:

  • U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firms
  • "Best Michigan Personal Injury Attorney" by American Lawyer Academy
  • Named Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Michigan
  • Honored as "Super Lawyers"
  • Top Martindale-Hubbell Rating (AV) for Skill & Integrity
  • Member of Million Dollar Advocates Forum

Our No-Fee Promise for Michigan Dog Bite Cases

You can afford to have the best dog bite law firm on your side.  We promise you in writing:

  • No money to get started
  • We pay all case costs and expenses
  • No legal fees whatsoever unless you receive a settlement
  • Phone calls are always free, forever.

Get Your Free Michigan Dog Bite Lawyer Consultation

To start on your case today, you can:

  1. Submit the Free Case Review Box on this page. We will contact you shortly.
  2. Engage with the Live Chat operator on the screen
  3. Call 1-800-606-1717 any time of day to speak with a dog bite injury lawyer about your case.

Warning: There are strict time deadlines for filing Michigan dog bite lawsuits. Call us to learn more about Michigan dog bite lawsuits and to see if you are entitled to a dog bite settlement award.

Lawrence J. Buckfire
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Best Michigan personal injury lawyer winning highest settlements for injury, malpractice, & accident victims.
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