The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that 800,000 people receive medical attention for dog bites each year. Even more surprising, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 334,000 of those bites are severe enough to seek treatment at a hospital. Breaking it down into smaller increments makes the facts easier to understand. There are 2,400 dog attacks each day which constitutes 100 each hour or once every 36 seconds according to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburg. It is important to realize that while each victim’s injuries are different, it is not an isolated incident, nor it is unique.
Common Causes Of Dog Bites
Dogs may bite when they might feel threatened by a trespasser, a change in environment, or sometimes the presence of another animal might cause the dog to react in such a manner. Dogs often feel territorial over their food, masters, and their puppies. If the dog feels that one of those things is in danger, they might lash out to defend themselves or territory. Lastly, dogs may bite if they are sick since they are prone to irritability or irritation. It is important to note that there are a few steps people can take to avoid being the victim of a dog bite.
What Humans Can Do
Avoiding unfamiliar dogs is key. While a dog might appear friendly, they can lash out in fear, or when its territorial instinct kicks in. Children also play a critical role. If they are outside playing and see a stray dog rather than approach it, they should alert an adult so proper precautions can be put in place. Dogs, much like people, thrive on routine and should not be interrupted while they are eating, sleeping, and especially caring for their puppies. Do not approach a menacing dog for any reason. If you find yourself faced with one, avoid direct eye contact, and do not make any sudden movements that might aggravate the dog.
Injuries Resulting from A Dog Bite
While we can try to prevent getting bit by a dog, sometimes the inevitable happens. Injuries sustained from a dog bite can be serious and medical attention might be required. Dog bite injuries can consist of puncture wounds, lacerations, infection, broken bones, scarring, and disfigurement. If a victim falls while trying to escape from the dog additional injures might occur.
The Victim Of A Dog Attack
If you or someone you know is a victim of a dog bite, there are some steps you should take. First, obtain the names and addresses of any witnesses. Most importantly, get the owner’s name or the person who had custody of the dog when it bit you. Secondly, get a copy of the dog’s vaccination records (this will be important when filing a lawsuit). Take photos of the actual wound and the area around it. Be sure to take photos of any “beaware of dog” signs or lack of signs. Seek medical attention from a healthcare professional regarding the bite and any follow-up treatment if necessary. Finally, contact the animal control office in your jurisdiction and file a report with investigating officials. You must cooperate with all parties involved, including the investigating officials and be truthful.
Rob Levine & Associates is an experienced dog bite attorney. If you are the victim of a dog bite, contact us today. We will advocate for your rights and ensure you recover damages for your lost wages as well as pain and suffering. Call us today for a free case evaluation. And remember, there is no fee unless we win your case.