Dog Bite Prevention and Aftercare
Every year, nearly 4.7 million people in the United States are bitten by a dog. Half of all dog bite victims are young children between the ages of 5 and 9. While some bites are minor and can be treated at home, 20% of dog bites require medical care. According to the CDC, more than 340,000 people are treated for dog bites in emergency rooms every year.
Strange and stray dogs can certainly bite or attack but most dog bite victims are bitten by a dog they know or live with. Dog bite prevention is important for adults as well as children to prevent the serious injury, disfigurement, and pain that can result from a bite.
Dog Bite Prevention
The following tips can help prevent a dog bite:
– Do not approach unfamiliar dogs.
– Always let a dog see and smell you before petting, even your own dog.
– Leave dogs alone while they are eating, chewing a toy, or taking care of puppies.
– Do not leave young children alone with a dog, even if it’s a familiar pet.
– When a dog becomes aggressive, do not scream, run away, or make eye contact. Move away from the animal slowly.
– Pay attention to the dog’s body language and teach children certain cues that represent when a dog is uncomfortable. Research shows that young children do not recognize when an animal is uncomfortable, aggressive, or ready to bite. These cues include a tensed body, pulled back ears or head, stiff tail, whites of the eyes visible, intense stare, backing away, and yawning.
Caring for a Dog Bite
If you or your child are bitten by a dog, immediately wash the wound with warm water and soap and contact a doctor. First aid at home is important but in addition, always see a doctor if you are bitten by an unfamiliar dog, the bite is deep, the wound keeps bleeding, or you notice warmth, redness, or swelling. Animal control should be informed of the bite. Your report should include everything you know about the animal, including its address and owner, if you know this information.
California holds dog owners strictly liable for most dog bite injuries. If you are bitten by a dog you do not own, it’s important to contact a dog bite lawyer in Los Angeles as soon as possible to protect your injuries. Dog bite victims have the right to sue for damages, even when the owners had no idea their dog could bite and the dog had never hurt anyone before. Owners are held liable when a person is bitten by the dog, in a public area or in a private place, such as a residence; when the attack occurred, owner is liable. A personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles can help you build your case against the dog’s owner to seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
A personal injury attorney will negotiate on your behalf with the dog owner’s homeowners’ insurance or personal injury protection provider and take your case to court if necessary to seek the compensation you deserve. Contact the Law Offices of Mann & Elias today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with a Los Angeles dog bite attorney.