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Dog bite lawyer

Causes of dog bites

Dogs may attack people for a number of reasons: protection (protecting food, puppies, a resting place or the owner); provocation (someone provokes the dog intentionally or unintentionally); accident (stepping on the tail, rough play by children, etc); hunting instinct (trying to run away from the dog or scaring the dog with loud play); dominance aggression (trying to take something from the dog, pet it or hold it against the will of the dog); defensive or fear aggression (the dog is approached too quickly when it is afraid); pain-elicited aggression (trying to approach or touch the dog when it is in pain or injured); and punishment-elicited aggression (invoked by trying to hit, kick or otherwise punish the dog).

Possible injuries

Dog bites result in a wide range of injuries depending on where the bite is.

The victim may experience lacerations (irregular tear-like wounds), punctures, crush-type injuries, nerve damage, sprain or strain of muscle, tissue loss and avulsion (tearing away), scars, fractured bones, finger injuries, facial injuries such as nose, eye and other facial disfigurements, puncture wounds, and infections such as rabies which can be fatal if medical attention is not given. If you are bitten by a dog, first aid is most helpful while professional medical help is on its way: clean the wound with warm water and bleed it by gently squeezing.

Causes of dog bites

Dog bite statistics

There are some 78 million dogs in the US responsible for the more than 4 million bite cases each year, 800,000 of which require medical attention.

Unfortunately, most of the victims are children, half of them are bitten in the face giving rise to about 40,000 facial injuries per year. The sad fact is that over 70% of the dogs biting children belong to the families. The large percentage of dogs are male dogs, almost all of them are not neutered. Most of the bites (over 70%) occur on the extremities (arms, hands, legs and feet).

What shall I do?

When bitten by a dog, adhere to the following very important steps. First, seek medical attention. Second, report the incident to animal control and check for rabies vaccination (report this to the medical professionals as well).

Third, take photos of the injuries, the dog, the scene and perhaps the witnesses (take down their names, numbers, etc). Finally, call your injury lawyer if your injuries are serious, otherwise you may go to the small court and handle the case yourself. If you are a dog owner, have your dog neutered (if it is a male dog), vaccinated and well trained to make sure it is comfortable around people.

What mistakes shall I avoid?

There are some golden rules when dealing with dogs: do not disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating or with puppies; do not play with strange dogs and never assume they are healthy; never tease or chase a loose dog; do not pet a dog on the head or on the tail; do not try to run away from a dog or move quickly around him; if a dog attempts to attack you, stay still until it leaves; it is not a good idea to stare into the eye of a dog.

How to prevent dog bites?

There is a lot one can do to prevent dog bites: always assume the dog is unfriendly and never approach an unfamiliar dog; body language is everything from the dog’s perspective – never approach a dog straight on or stare the dog in the eyes; do not disturb a sleeping dog or the one that is eating; put your dog through obedience training and allow the dog to meet people; keep your dog’s vaccinations current; never subject your dog to violent and harsh punishment, reward and praise for good behavior; always keep your dog on a leash or in a fenced area; when a dog knocks you down, curl into a ball with your knees tucked into your stomach and your fingers interlocked behind your neck to protect your neck area.

Animal control laws

Most states have enacted animal control laws that have the following common elements: the leash law (your dog must be on leash off the owner’s property and you must be at the other end of the leash); trespassing (it is a crime to let the dog enter a private property without the permission of the owner); at-large law (it is illegal for the dog to be off the owner property unless the dog is leashed, confined or under the control of the owner).Liability rulesCompensation can be recovered under one or all of the following rules: one-bite rule (the owner is liable for the damages if he knew that the dog had a tendency to bite people – note that bite is not necessarily required, knock downs or tripping count as well); negligence (the owner is negligent if he violated animal control laws such as the leash law, running at large or the trespassing law); statutory liability (about two thirds of the states have statutory liability laws.

What damages are covered?

A fairly large set of damages are covered: pain and suffering, permanent scarring, disability, loss of earning capacity, loss of quality of life, medical bills, cosmetic services, counseling, clothing, and loss of income.

The interesting question is who pays for the damages: home owner’s or renter’s insurance, commercial liability insurance, insurance covering employees, landlord’s insurance, as well as the defendant.

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