Dogs can be cute and cuddly members of our families. Unfortunately, sometimes dogs bite. According to the Center For Disease Control (CDC), approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States every year. Unfortunately, many of these bites result in severe injuries.
What to do if you are bitten by a dog?
- Call 911 and report the incident to police and request medical help.
- Get medical treatment.
- After treatment, you write down what you remember about the attack. Note where you were and information about the dog and owner.
- Take pictures of your injuries on the day of and every 24 hours until they fully heal.
- Contact a lawyer to understand your rights as a victim.
How to Prevent a Dog Bite
We have heard that there are no bad dogs, just bad owners, but the truth is that dogs are animals and they sometimes do things that are unexpected. It is possible for a dog who never displayed any aggressive tendencies to bite someone suddenly. However, the actions of the animal may be a good indicator that something is going on and we highly recommend that you maintain distance from any animal that appears to be distressed.
Here are a few things you can do to potentially avoid an attack.
- Do not approach an animal that you don’t know.
- If a dog approaches you, try not to run or move suddenly. Back away slowly if you are uncomfortable.
- Avoid direct eye contact, as the animal will likely view that as a challenge. Submissive dogs look away from dominant ones.
- Do not disturb a dog caring for puppies or that is eating or sleeping.
- Ask for permission before you pet a dog and allow the dog to sniff you.
- Contact your animal control officer at the police department if you see a stray dog.
- If you own a dog, do not play aggressively with them.
Owners are responsible for their dogs. Most states recognize strict liability for dog bites. That means if dog bites you, its owner is responsible. Most frequently, the defendant is the owner of the dog and is responsible for the dog’s actions regardless of whether they have prior knowledge of the dog being vicious. Most dog bites are covered under homeowners insurance policies, but individuals are personally liable as well.
A detailed investigation can help establish liability for the bite and determine whether insurance coverage applies. A skilled dog bite lawyer will explore the unique facts of your case, and will determine whether or not you have a valid claim. If you have a valid claim, our injury attorneys can help you pursue financial compensation from the responsible parties.
A dog bite can lead to damages requiring multiple doctor’s visits and expensive medical bills. Insurance companies have seen a significant increase in claims in recent years, paying out over half a billion dollars in 2014.
A dog bite can result in a range of injuries including:
- Puncture wounds
- Nerve damage
- Muscle damage
- Emotional and psychological trauma
- Residual scarring
Statute of Limitations
What is the Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Claims? A statute of limitations is a law that states the amount of time following an incident the victim has to file a claim. When this period of time expires, the victim of dog bite may no longer bring his or her claim. Since of the statute of limitations can prevent you from filing a claim for your injury, you should not wait to contact an attorney in regard to his or her claim. If you’ve been a victim of a dog bite, contact our dog bite lawyers today.