Dogs are the most common type of pet for most home owners. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, approximately 37-47% of all households in the United States have a dog. These dogs are treated like family, but man’s best friend can sometimes turn into man’s worst enemy. When your dog bites a victim, you may be held liable for resulting injuries.
“Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States. Nearly 1 out of 5 bites becomes infected” (CDC). According to Safety Around Dogs, a vast majority of those bites occur to children in the ages between 5-9 years old. Some of the reasons why dogs can become provoked to bite humans are when they are disturbed while eating or sleeping, played too rough with, or when they are caring for their newborn babies. These and other conditions can be perceived by the dog as an invasion of the dog’s private space. The dogs themselves cannot speak and say “stop”, so they bite to let the person know that they did not like what the person was doing.
In a majority of dog bite cases, the victim is bit by a dog that they were familiar with. For example, talk radio host Jillian Barberie was bitten on the lip by a friend’s cocker spaniel. The dog had just lost his best friend, so the dog did not want to be disturbed. This could have been a trigger for him to bite the talk radio host. Barberie didn’t blame the dog because she was made aware that he was being a little aggressive. Barberie needed stitches on her lip as a result of the bite.
Dog bites can often result in lacerations, broken bones, and even death. Death by a dog bite is uncommon, but very possible. Infections can lead to death if left untreated. Dogs have very powerful jaws, and their bites can often lead to broken bones and torn skin. One should seek medical care if the dog bite disrupts the skin causing a puncture, laceration, or tear.
Some of the most common injuries caused by dog bites are muscle tears, punctures, lacerations, bruises, tissue loss, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Many people become fearful of dogs or get nervous around them whenever they have reminders of the incident. There are three important treatment issues that people need to seek medical attention for. These issues are skin damage; injury to the tissues such as muscle, nerve, and bone; and infection. Dog bites may also result in fractured bones, scars, and infections like rabies which will require tetanus shots.
Here are some basic safety tips
- Remain motionless (e.g., “be still like a tree”) when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
- Curl into a ball with your head tucked and your hands over your ears and neck if a dog knocks you over.
- Immediately let an adult know about stray dogs or dogs that are behaving strangely.
- Approach an unfamiliar dog.
- Run from a dog.
- Panic or make loud noises.
- Disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
- Pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.
- Encourage your dog to play aggressively.
- Let small children play with a dog unsupervised.
If you or a loved one has been injured from a dog bite, call our experienced California dog bite attorneys today for a free consultation. We accept dog bite cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that there will be no cost to you, unless we recover. Let us help you and your loved ones get through this difficult time. Our personal injury attorneys at will aggressively fight for you until justice is served, whether it is through a settlement or a trial. Our dedicated and caring team of injury attorneys will be available to you 24/7. Call us at 888.546.5315 for a free consultation.