Dog bites are the most common animal attacks. In the US nearly five million animal attacks occur annually. This figure only indicates those attacks that are reported. Many do not get reported due to lack of severity or the victim not knowing that the attack should be reported. Dog bites can range in severity from a few scratches and small bruises to disfigurement and even death.
Fortunately most dog owners are loving and responsible with their pets. They train them properly and treat them as family members. They teach their children not to abuse or intimidate the dog. Unfortunately there are also a large amount of people who are abusive to their dogs resulting in the dog developing aggressive behavior. In addition, some dogs are more prone to violence then others.
Preventing Being Bitten by a Dog
The best way to avoid being bitten by a dog is to exercise diligence. Stay away from stray or unleashed dogs if possible. Do not attempt to approach or pet a strange dog without the permission of its owner. The owner will generally know the temperament of their pet. Do not enter private property where a dog is present. That includes reaching into a car window to pet a seemingly friendly dog. Dogs will defend their territory against intruders. Do not tease or intimidate a dog even if under the owner’s control. Learn to identify dog breeds that are most likely to attack such as pit bulls and Rottweilers. .If a dog is wearing a heavy chain there is probably a good reason for that. Try and use common sense. If a loose dog is heading in your direction; cross the street if it is possible. If a strange dog approaches you, remain calm and let the dog sniff you. The dog will most likely move on if there is no reaction. Never extend your hand over the dog’s head. It may feel threatened and bite. Never run, you will become game.
If You Are Bitten by a Dog
If you have taken all of the proper measures of prevention and are attacked and bitten, there are several important things that you must do if at all possible:
- Take down the contact information of the owner as well as insurance information
- Get the contact information of any witnesses
- Record the dog license tag if possible
- Take photos of any wounds, torn or bloodied clothing as well as where you encountered the dog.
- Clean the wound as soon as possible with warm soap and water and apply antiseptics. Then seek medical attention.
- Report the incident to the local animal control department. All animals that bite should be put under observation for 14 days to test for signs of rabies.
Even if the dog bite seems minor always see a doctor if the skin is broken. A dog bite can easily become infected and your physician will prescribe antibiotics to prevent that from occurring. Staph infections and MRSA, a superbug, are both possible following even a slight dog bite.
If you suffered significant injuries from a dog bite that require medical care, plastic surgery, caused you to miss work, gave you pain and suffering or caused permanent disfigurement, it is in your best interest to consult with a personal injury attorney that specializes in animal bite cases. You may be entitled to a cash settlement. A severe dog bite can also leave a person with emotional stress and make them fearful of dogs for the rest of their lives. Your attorney is familiar with the trauma associated with a dog bites.
If you or a loved one was attacked by a dog and suffered injury, contact Dolman Law Group today and speak with a personal injury attorney. There is no cost for your initial evaluation. Call us at (727) 853-6275.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652