Is a dog your best friend? Many of us love this pet that offers us love, loyalty, and security. The bond between you and your dog can make you forget that it is still an animal that can bite. Researchers say that more than 4 million people suffer from dog bites every year in the U.S. Most of these people prone to dog bites are children below nine years. The experience can cause trauma on the victim and insecurities in the surrounding.
One dog bite from every five leads to a severe injury that requires medical intervention. Dog bites cause infections and diseases such as rabies. Most people who get dog bites report that the dog may not be a stranger. It could be a neighbor’s dog. How can we prevent dog bites and what should you do with a dog bite? Find out more!
Measures to prevent dog bites
It starts from the minute you decide to get a dog for your family. Consider one with a good character. Do not approach a dog you don’t know since it can behave negatively towards you. Always keep your children from dogs if you are not present to supervise. You should also stay away from a dog when it is feeding. Approach a dog cautiously and remain calm if it becomes aggressive.
What does the law say regarding dog bites?
Dog bites fall under strict liability form of personal injury. As the victim, you are liable to receive compensation for physical and mental harm from the owner of the dog. The law holds dog owners responsible for the following instances:
- Their dog attacking you in public
- Their dog attacking you if you were a guest visiting their home
- A dog damaging your property
- A dog threatening your young children such that they feel unsafe in the neighborhood.
The law determines if you acted in a way that upset the dog to bite you. For instance, trespassing on another person’s property is not a valid reason for a suit. Acts of negligence towards the dog that makes it lash out can make the law suggest that it was your fault. You may also have made threatening gestures towards the dog such as throwing a stone at it. These scenarios reduce your compensation in court.
Every story has two sides. The owner of the dog can also win the lawsuit in some instances. The dog owner might have warned people of potential danger by putting up a sign such as “beware of dog.” Such safety precautions to keep it away from people is enough to make the owner not liable for the injury. If you ignored this warning and got bit by the dog, you may lose the case. The law terms it as contributory negligence.
Other parties can also be held responsible for the dog attack. For instance, property owners, and landlords who knew that a tenant keeps a dangerous dog, they can be accountable for the injury. Animal sitters can also find themselves in the hands of the law.
What are some of the dog bite injuries?
Dog bites cause more than physical harm. When it happens to a child, they may grow up fearing the pet and develop anxiety from the trauma. Some become indoor lovers since they feel unsafe outside the home. Dog attacks may include bone fractures, lacerations, abrasions, dislocations, wounds as well as emotional stress.
How do you handle a dog bite?
Visit a doctor
Dog attacks in children are worse than in an adult. In both cases, medical intervention can prevent it from becoming fatal. Your doctor can treat your wounds, prescribe antibiotics to reduce infections and help you with emotional trauma. They can also benefit your case if you plan to sue the dog owner by taking photographs of your abrasions to present in court. X-rays can be proof of joint dislocations from the attack.
Collect the necessary information
If it is a stranger’s dog, contacts as well as, the home address are crucial for your case. You can also gather information about any key witnesses present at the time of the attack. You can identify the dog through their license in preparation for the suit. The point of all these data is to rule out any negligence or trespassing claims.
Get a dog bite lawyer
Find out the legal rights for compensation by hiring a dog bite lawyer. An experienced attorney in personal injury can help you receive compensation for the attack according to the intensity of the harm. They can learn the circumstance surrounding the attack and help you file claims.
Consider pre-settlement loans
Since such cases may take time, pre-settlement funding can help you deal with medical bill expenses by giving you some cash advance. They don’t assess your credit score to determine if you qualify for the loan. Such personal injuries are a win-win for both you and the pre-settlement loan company.
What are some of the damages you can recover from a dog attack lawsuit?
You can get compensation for the loss of wages as you stay with your child in a hospital, missing out on work. Disability or disfiguration if you need plastic surgery can be part of your compensation. Your pain and suffering, as well as the death of a loved one from a dog attack, are possible considerations. You can also get compensation for medical bills and damage of properties.
Some cases also award punitive damages. This type of damage is given to punish a dog owner who may be reckless or negligent in how they handle their dog for instance by exposing a dangerous dog near children. The judge can assess the situation and determine if you are liable for punitive damages.
No matter how well we train our dogs, there is a possibility of misbehavior which can cause a dog bite. Since dog bites can cause death, we should be careful when handling them. Every home owner should guard their dangerous dog appropriately and keep them away from people.