Over 4 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States each year and close to a fifth of those bites require medical attention. Children under the age of 13 are the most common victims of dog bites and children are most likely to be severely injured by dog bites due to their small size and not acting appropriately around dogs.

Dogs make wonderful family pets, but they can also cause serious injuries. Even a dog who nibbles during play can suddenly escalate and turn that play nibble into a full blown attack.

WHAT TO DO FOR A DOG BITE

If you or someone you know has been bitten by a dog, if the bite was through no fault of the victim, is to report the bite to the proper authorities. This is important if you are dealing with an unprovoked attack, and not just from what is considered a bully breed. Every breed of dog is capable of biting someone.

FACTORS RELATED TO DOGS BITING ARE:

  • Sickness or injury. A dog who is injured or sick, or older in age, may become cranky, irritable, and over react in certain situations causing them to snap.
  • Challenge for food.  If you try to take food from a dog, especially if it is considered a high value treat like a bone, the dog may lunge and try to bite. Food can be an aggressive trigger for even the calmest of dogs.
  • Threatening body language.  Direct staring is perceived by a dog to be threatening.  A person, who the dog is not familiar with, who invades their personal space, is a threat to a dog.
  • Trying to break up a dog fight. When dogs are fighting, if a human tries to intercede to break things up may find themselves badly bitten.
  • Territorial attacks. Dogs are pack animals and may feel threatened if it feels someone is encroaching on his/her territory and any of the dog’s family members, or what the dog now considers its “pack.” All dogs can be unpredictable in the presence of a stranger to the home, including, but not in all cases burglars.
  • Failure to read a dogs signs. Dogs, like people feel insecure at times. Dogs have calming signals to calms themselves during these times. It is not uncommon for people not to recognize these signals and approach the dog, triggering a defensive reaction from them.

If you have had a dog bite and have had to undergo medical treatment, surgeries or repairs, you will need the advice of an attorney who is familiar with cases involving dog bites. A dog bite that occurs through no fault of your own may be entitled to compensation for medical treatment, and any therapy, physical or emotional, that is required during the recovery phase. Dog bites not only can cause severe medical injury, the emotional response from enduring an attack can take years to recover from.  An injury attorney can help to claim and recover costs that you may be entitled to.