Dog Bites: Important Facts and Figures if You Have Been Bitten by a Dog
Cases involving dog bites typically involve a lot of emotion. At the end of the day, we may be talking about a family pet, a freak accident that can’t be easily explained or involve the well being of a child.
They are also quite common. According to one source:
“According to a study from the Center For Disease Control (CDC), approximately 4.7 million dog bites occur in the United States each year, and 800,000 of those bites result in medical care. The U.S. population is approximately 325.7 million people as of 2017. That means a dog bites 1 out of every 69 people.”
With this information in mind, it is important to understand why a dog might bite, how to avoid situations where injury may occur and what to do should you be bitten by a dog.
Why would a dog bite?
There are many factors that might cause a dog to want to bite:
- This can be based on the general treatment of a dog by its owner, a situation where a dog is being provoked, or if the dog’s food or puppies are being threatened. It can also be due to loud noises or stressful environments. Examples of this type of stress can include loud music, crowded environments, fireworks, loud cars, etc.
- A dog who is ill or not comfortable may be more likely to bite.
- A dog might just be playing and get carried away.
- While often controversial, studies strongly suggest that certain dogs, such as Chihuahuas, Pit Bulls and German Shepherds are naturally predisposed to biting.
How to avoid situations where injury may occur
- Avoid areas or neighbors who have aggressive dogs.
- Do not provoke any dog of any type.
- This can include petting a dog that you do not know or don’t have permission from the owner.
- Do not own or interact with a dog that can easily overpower you or someone else or one that is overly aggressive.
- If you are going into a home or area where a dog is present and you are uncomfortable for any reason, ask the owner if it would be OK if they could remove the dog from where you will be or kenneled, if possible.
- To avoid situations of liability, do not trespass on anyone’s property where a dog is more likely to attack and where a dog may be kept specifically for protection.
What to do if you’ve been bitten
If you have been bitten in an unprovoked dog attack, seek medical attention immediately. Loss of blood, infection, scarring and disease can often result from a dog bite and trained professionals can properly clean and dress a wound and administer a tetanus shot if necessary.
Report an attack immediately. For the sake of yourself and of others, authorities should be contacted right away to help deal with the situation and keep record of these types of incidents.
Try to remember or write down the events that transpired leading up to the dog attack. What might have provoked the dog? What did the dog look like? Where was the owner and was the owner in control of the dog?
If possible, take pictures of where the incident took place and pictures of the injuries sustained.
Call a legal representative immediately. An experienced law firm such as Murray L. Greenfield & Associates will be able to review all the details of the event and determine if you can pursue a legal claim.
Insurance’s role in dog bites
In most cases, dog bites are covered under a person’s homeowners insurance policy. Depending on the situation, a claim can be made against the owners insurance.
Murray L. Greenfield and Associates has been successfully representing the victims of dog bites for over 30 years. If you have been injured by a dog, call our office today for a free consultation.