Dog attacks are more common than many people realize. In fact, between 2005 and 2013, more than 400 deaths attributable to dog bites occurred across the country. While many people think that these dog attacks are usually perpetrated by aggressive pit bulls that were trained to act that way, the truth is much different. Although pit bulls were responsible for two-thirds of the deaths mentioned above, oftentimes these dogs are beloved family pets that have never acted aggressively before.

This may have been the case for one woman who was recently killed in one of these attacks. Reports indicate that the 74-year-old died when she was bitten by a family member’s pit bull/collie terrier mix. The woman suffered blunt facial trauma as a result of the attack. Officials believe that her heart condition may have contributed to her inability to survive the injuries, but another individual was injured in the attack, too. The dog, which didn’t act aggressively toward law enforcement, was captured and later euthanized.

Dog bite victims and their families can suffer extensively in the aftermath of an attack. Physically, of course, they can experience excessive pain, and their injuries may leave them with decreased physical abilities. Emotionally, these individuals may be severely traumatized, which might require mental health treatment and even medication to appropriately treat their condition. All of this can cause serious financial damages, too. In an instance like the one mentioned above, surviving family members can be left with a lot of these harms in addition to some others, such as loss of support.

The period of time following an animal bite can be filled with pain, anger, stress, and a general feeling of being overwhelmed. By taking legal action, though, victims and their families may be able to find the closure, compensation, and peace of mind they deserve.