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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
Attorney • (877) 377-7848

Dog Bite Injuries Can be Serious and Disabling; Prevention is the Key

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Dog bites are not all that well recognized as being a health problem, but if you look at the statistics involving the number of people who did get bitten, you’ll understand this area of the law is a lot larger and with more serious consequences than you might have thought. The bad part about dog bites is that most of the victims are children and while some of them sustain non-threatening bites, or bites that are relatively minor, the impact it has on the child for life is profound.

Some areas of the US are making an effort to implement heftier and much stricter fines for those who don’t have their dog properly under control, on a leash, unlicensed or not fenced properly. In many communities dog owners whose canines did haul off and bite someone find themselves even facing jail sentences. Interestingly enough, there is little education available to teach people why dogs bite or how to monitor their canine with safety in mind.

There are certainly ways to minimize the risk of being bit by a dog. Here is what the CDC recommends for children to avoid being bitten by a dog:

    • Do not approach an unfamiliar dog.

    • Do not run from a dog or scream.

    • Remain motionless (e.g., "be still like a tree") when approached by an unfamiliar dog.

    • If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still (e.g., "be still like a log").

    • Do not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.

    • Immediately report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior to an adult.

    • Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.

    • Do not disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.

    • Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.

    • If bitten, immediately report the bite to an adult.

    And here is what the CDC recommends before bringing a dog into your home:

    • Be sensitive to cues that a child is fearful or apprehensive about a dog. If a child seems frightened by dogs, wait before bringing a dog into your household.

    • Spend time with a dog before buying or adopting it. Use caution when bringing a dog into a household with an infant or toddler.

    • Spay/neuter your dog (this often reduces aggressive tendencies).

    • Never leave infants or young children alone with a dog.

    • Don’t play aggressive games with your dog (e.g., wrestling).

    • Properly socialize and train any dog entering your household. Teach the dog submissive behaviors (e.g., rolling over to expose the abdomen and giving up food without growling).

    • Immediately seek professional advice (e.g., from veterinarians, animal behaviorists, or responsible breeders) if the dog develops aggressive or undesirable behaviors.

  • Dogs with histories of aggression are not suitable for households with children.

The general rule of thumb is that every loose dog has the potential to bite. Owners really must keep their animals under control, properly socialize them, choose appropriate breeds for their level of experience and family composition and keep the animal up to date on vet care. If you have been bitten and needed surgery, stitches, medications, therapy or have been permanently scarred, you should consider speaking to an experienced personal injury lawyer.

A lawsuit or claim may recover compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages etc. If your case is particularly serious and will involve long-term surgeries or other medical care while you wait for your case to resolve, you may wish to find out a bit more about lawsuit funding, a service that provides an immediate lawsuit cash advance against your potential settlement, while you await justice.

Lawsuit funding may assist you in turning down those early, lower than full value, settlement offers because of financial difficulties caused by your injury or disability. There are no credit checks; current employment is not required. Litigation funding may arrive in as little as 48 hours. It’s not for everyone; do some research and ask your lawyer’s advice before you proceed.