Animal Attacks & Dog Bites
A dog bite attack affects nearly five million people in the U.S. every year. Of the five million people victim of dog bite attacks, 334,000 require emergency treatment at hospitals. People have differing opinions on dog bite attacks and laws that should address them. Though the number of deaths attributed to dog bite attacks every year remains around a dozen, the high number of nonfatal attacks is often gruesome and serious.
Dog Attack Laws
Laws pertaining to dog bite attacks vary depending on the state and the community within that state. Some dog bites attack victims would like to see certain breeds of dogs banned, like in England, Australia, Denmark, and Singapore. Of the 199 reported dog bite attacks resulting in fatalities between 1979 and 1996, pit bulls followed by the Rottweiler accounted for the majority of deadly accidents.
Some people think that this is a reason to put into place dog bite attack laws that do not allow certain breeds, but other people think that the problem is with training the dogs. Any loose dog can potentially cause a dog bite attack. Though certain breeds do have a more aggressive nature, experts in the field say that the essential factor in dealing with certain breeds is understanding how to train the dogs to be socialized among people.
Pit bulls & Rottweilers
Washington, D.C. has passed local legislation classifying pit bulls and Rottweilers as “dangerous”, requiring the dogs to be muzzled in public. Larger dogs are capable of more serious and fatal dog bite attacks because of their bone snapping jaw pressure, but dogs like cocker spaniels frequently bite people though it is not as newsworthy so people never hear about these dog bite attacks.
Owners of dog bite attacks are facing larger and larger repercussions. From increased fines to potential jail time, communities are trying to reduce the number of dog bite attacks. Some victims of dog bite attacks will even take legal action against the owner.
Children & Dog Bites
Since children are most often the victims of dog bite attacks, residents in fear of their children’s safety want to see more responsibility taken for the potentially serious events. Local councils and police forces are re-evaluating local ordinances governing animal controls and how to improve them. Some communities have staff shortages with local kennels, resulting in a long response time when dog bite attacks are reported.
Prevent Dog Bites
Although having more efficient reactions to dog bite attacks can help reduce the severity of the injuries, prevention and education must also exist. There are certain behavioral practices that can be followed to better ensure certain actions do not set off a dog bite attack. Dogs can interpret things like direct eye contact as a challenge or be touched around the head, neck, or back, which can set off a dog bite attack.
Knowing what to do if a dog bite attack occurs is also important. While instinctually people will want to run, this can only add to the chase element. Remaining calm and unthreatening can put an end to a potential dog bite attack, but if a person is brought down to the ground, curling up into a ball and protecting your head and face will minimize injuries, and the dog will likely become bored and leave.
Dog Bite Injury
Dog bite injuries affect more than four and a half million people in the United States every year. Of these dog bite injuries, about six percent are treated in hospitals across the nation. The medical costs related to dog bite injuries in the US each year total in the hundreds of millions. Young children are the largest group of individuals to suffer from dog bite injuries. Most dog bite injuries involve unrestrained dogs on their owner’s property, though dog bites can happen anywhere. Serious dog bite injuries are defined as those resulting in muscle tears, or lacerations that are disfiguring or that require cosmetic surgery or extensive sutures. Dog bite injuries do not need to be considered serious, however, in order to take legal action for recovery of damages related to these incidents.
It is important to understand the causes of dog bite injuries and how to prevent them. Dog bite injuries occur when an animal, acting out of fear or aggression, responds to its environmental stimulus by biting a human being. The following factors increase the likelihood of dog bite injuries: unaltered animals, animals who are chained up or mistreated, animals who are trying to protect their owner(s) and/or territory, animals who are startled out of sleep, bothered while eating or playing with toys or treats, animals who encounter unknown situations or people and dogs who wish to dominate their victim.
There are several steps dog owners can take to lower the risk of dog bite injuries such as properly socializing their canines, getting them spayed or neutered, humanely training them, supervising them properly (especially when children are near), obeying all animal restraint and confinement laws, and treating dogs humanely.
Dog bite injury victims
Potential dog bite injury victims should be cautious around unknown canines. Animals that are sleeping, eating, or playing with toys should not be startled or bothered. Children should be taught the appropriate and safe ways to handle animals, and when to avoid them. Education about canine behavior and the humane treatment of animals will also diminish the likelihood of dog bite injuries.
When dog bite injuries do occur it is important to seek medical help (for injuries that require treatment) and file the proper documents with local police and animal control officials. Try to gather as much information about the dog and its owner at the time of the incident, as well as any other pertinent details about the dog bite injury circumstances.
Should a dog bite injury affect you or someone you know, you have the legal right to seek restitution for the damages inflicted by the injury. Though laws throughout the United States differ, all victims of dog bite injuries are entitled to seek compensation from the following parties: people whose negligence caused a dog bite injury, people who are in violation of animal restraint, confinement, and humane treatment statutes, and dog owners who are aware of their animal’s history of aggression towards people. There are some cases where other people can be held liable for dog bite injuries. Victims of dog bite injuries have the legal right to seek compensation for their damages and should consult a Dog Bite Injury lawyer to help maximize their interests.