Did you know that dog bites are the fifth most common type of injury in the United States? In fact, nearly 1 million people are bitten by dogs each year. If you or someone you love has been injured in a dog bite attack, it is important to understand your legal rights. It’s also important to understand the signs of aggressive behavior in dogs, how to prevent dog bites, as well as what to do if you or someone else is bitten. Here, you’ll find everything you need to know about dog bites.
1. Lawyer’s Rights
In most cases, a dog bite victim can take legal action against the owner of the dog. Depending on the state in which you live, an injured person may be able to seek compensatory damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related expenses. In some cases, punitive damages may also be available. According to the team at Justice Guardians Allentown, PA law office, an experienced dog bite attorney can help you understand your rights, determine whether you have a valid claim, and fight for the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to. It’s important to note that the statute of limitations for filing a claim varies from state to state, so it’s important to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible.
2. Signs of Aggressive Behavior in Dogs
It is important to recognize the signs of aggressive behavior in dogs so that you can take steps to protect yourself or your loved one from a dog bite attack. The most common signs of aggression include growling, barking, lunging, bearing teeth, and air snapping (snapping without contact). It’s paramount that you take necessary precautions when these behaviors are present. Also, never try to pet a dog who is displaying these signs of aggression.
3. How to Prevent Dog Bites
There are several steps that you can take to prevent dog bites. First and foremost, never approach a strange dog without the owner’s permission. If the owner allows you to pet their dog, be sure to move slowly and speak calmly. Additionally, it is important to avoid eye contact with an unfamiliar animal as this could be interpreted as aggression. It’s also important not to disturb a sleeping or eating dog, as well as puppies who are still learning appropriate social behaviors around humans. Lastly, when in doubt about a dog’s behavior, always err on the side of caution and stay away.
4. Wash the wound
If you or someone else is bitten by a dog, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure that the wound is properly cleaned and treated. First, immediately rinse the wound with water for several minutes. This will help flush out any bacteria in the wound and reduce the risk of infection. After rinsing, apply pressure to stop bleeding and cover with a clean bandage. Additionally, if possible, try to find out if the dog has been vaccinated against rabies, so you can seek appropriate medical advice from your doctor. While it is very rare for a dog to carry rabies, it is important to be cautious as the virus can be fatal.
5. Try to stop the bleeding
If the dog bite is severe and bleeding can’t be stopped by applying pressure, it may be necessary to seek medical attention immediately. Severe dog bites can cause deep lacerations, muscle damage, and broken bones that require specialized treatment. In these cases, an experienced veterinarian or emergency room physician should be consulted as soon as possible. Also, it is important to take pictures of the injury and document any medical expenses that may have been incurred as a result of the bite.
6. Seek Financial Compensation
If you are the victim of a dog bite, the law may entitle you to seek financial compensation for medical expenses and psychological trauma associated with the incident. Depending on the laws of your state, you may need to file a civil suit against the owner of the dog or its caretaker in order to be compensated. It is important that you consult with an experienced attorney to determine how best to proceed when seeking financial compensation. Also, make sure to keep track of all medical expenses and paperwork related to the incident.
7. Seek Professional Help
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. Dog bites can become infected and cause serious health issues, so be sure to take the necessary steps to protect yourself from further harm. Additionally, if the bite was severe enough for you to need medical treatment, then it may be worth contacting a personal injury lawyer as well. A lawyer can help you receive fair compensation for your suffering and any costs that come with the medical bills or other related damages from the incident. Lastly, it is also wise to consider doing research on animal behaviorists who could provide advice on how to avoid similar incidents in the future.
8. Consider Training for Your Dog
In some cases, it may be beneficial to get a professional to help you train your dog. A certified trainer can be a great resource in helping improve the behavior of your pet and preventing future bites. Working with a trainer can also create a deeper bond between you and your pup, allowing for better communication between the two of you. It is important to remember that training does not come with guarantees so it’s best to work on preventive measures as well when trying to stop your dog from biting someone else.
Additionally, making an effort to socialize your pup early on can also reduce their fear or aggression around unfamiliar people and animals. Getting them used to being around strangers as puppies will make them less likely to bite as they grow older. You can also make sure to give your dog plenty of exercise, attention, and stimulation – this will help reduce their feelings of anxiety. It’s also important to never leave children alone with your dog and make sure that you are supervising them when they are together.