Unfortunately, not all dogs are friendly and there are times when even the friendliest dogs have been known to bite. A dog bite incident can be painful and frightening. As personal injury attorneys, we have helped many dog bite victims and would like to pass on some information to help you and your children avoid some of the pain and suffering we have seen.
Dog Bite Statistics
The Center For Disease Control (CDC) shows that more than 4.7 million dog bites occur every year. That means that 1 out of 69 people are bitten by dogs.
The Humane Society estimates that 51% of dog bite victims in the US are children.
According to data from The American Veterinary Medical Association, children between the ages of 5-9 have the highest rate of dog bites.
Postal Service employees are also among the most frequent victims. In 2017, more than 6,244 employees were involved in a dog attack.
Why Dogs Bite
There are many reasons why dogs are compelled to bite:
• They are ill
• They are stressed
• They feel threatened
• They’ve been startled
• They are being overly playful
• They are protecting their owners or puppies
The first step to avoid being bitten is to be aware. One of the reasons dog bites occur so frequently is that people (especially children) do not catch on to the clues the dog is giving you! Below are a few things you can do to avoid becoming a victim yourself.
Avoid Getting Bitten By A Dog
Everyone generally views dogs as man’s best friend but it is important to remember that at the end of the day dogs are animals – even if they appear well trained. It is always best to use caution when you are around a dog, any dog. Below are some rules you should always keep in mind when you are around dogs. If you have kids be sure that you review the rules with them as well!
• Be sure to approach any dog cautiously
• Observe the dog and look for any of the signs listed above
• If the owner is present, ask the owner if it is okay BEFORE you to pet the dog
• When around an unfamiliar dog, always remain calm
• Don’t make any sudden moves
• If you notice an aggressive dog hanging around your neighborhood, let other people know
• If a dog rushes you, curl up into a ball and protect your head, face, and neck with your arms
• If a dog attempts to attack you, try to place something between you and the dog as quickly as you can, it can be your jacket, bag, or purse.
What To Do If You Have Been Bitten
Once you are safe, we would encourage you to seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if your injuries seem minor or insignificant. If you haven’t gotten a tetanus shot within the last five years, be sure to tell the doctor or nurse on call so that you can be properly treated. If for some reason you need to delay care it is a good idea to wash any cuts or wounds with soap and water.
If there were any witnesses to the attack, try to gather contact information from them. It may come in handy later.
It is also advisable to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. You may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries and it is best to speak to a lawyer right away when the incident is fresh in your mind.
Sharing Our Successes
Sobo & Sobo fought hard for a 5-year-old dog bite victim who suffered serious injuries after being attacked by her neighbor’s dog. The dog bit her in the face causing permanent scars and the insurance company refused a settlement. A landmark settlement was awarded, the largest for a dog bite to a child in Orange County since 1994.
We want to hear your story, give Sobo & Sobo a call at 1-855-GOT-SOBO for a no-cost review of your case.