Tips for Avoiding a Dog Attack

Content Reviewer, Attorney James P. Maniscalco
Created by our team of legal writers and reviewed by James P. Maniscalco. J.D.

Dog attacks do happen, but there are steps that can be taken to try and avoid or prevent a dog attack from happening. Research shows that every day about 1,000 people in the United States go to the emergency room for injuries resulting from dog bites. Fortunately, if you are approached by an aggressive dog, there are steps you can take to try and avoid a dog attack.

How to Avoid a Dog Attack

Certain breeds of dogs may be more dangerous than others. A 2011 study by Animal People revealed that pit bull terriers and Rottweilers accounted for 74% of fatal attacks. Being approached by an aggressive dog can be frightening. Your initial thought might be to run away, but in doing so you’re actually enticing the dog to chase you. In an encounter with an aggressive dog try to remain calm and follow these helpful tips from the Humane Society:

  • Resist the impulse to scream and run away.
  • Remain motionless, hands at your sides, and avoid eye contact with the dog.
  • Once the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until he is out of sight.
  • If the dog does attack you, “feed” him your jacket, purse, bicycle, or anything that you can put between yourself and the dog.
  • If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain motionless. Try not to scream or roll around.

What to Do If You Are a Victim of a Dog Attack

Although both children and adults are severely injured from dog bites and dog attacks, children are at greatest risk. Kids typically play with dogs more often than adults and are more likely to unknowingly engage with dogs in ways that can make a dog aggressive. Children are also less able to protect themselves against an aggressive dog.

Even when following tips for how to avoid a dog bite, an attack can happen and cause severe injuries requiring multiple doctor’s visits and even surgeries. As though the physical pain and emotional trauma aren’t enough, the medical expenses incurred from a dog bite can cause tremendous stress on your finances. As with any injury, taking the time to heal is critical. In the case of a dog bite, however, protecting your family’s future from a financial drain is also imperative.

If you are a victim of a dog bite, contact a dog bite lawyer immediately, due to the strict liability law. You could receive compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional damages. In order to support your claim, make sure you:

  • Report the incident to animal control
  • Take down the information regarding the incident, dog owner, and witnesses
  • Seek medical treatment – photograph the wound before and after the incident
  • If the injury is severe, contact a dog bite lawyer

If your or a loved one is a victim of a dog attack, speak with an experienced dog bite lawyer. This is a time when a dog bite lawyer can be your best friend. A dog bite lawyer with experience can help you recoup:

  • Medical costs
  • Costs for property damage
  • Lost wages from time off work
  • Rehabilitation
  • Permanent or temporary disability

In dog bite cases, accountability rests with the dog owner and costs are typically recovered from a homeowner’s insurance policy. This is a complex process that’s best handled by a professional – a dog bite lawyer. The situation can be stressful, but a dog bite lawyer can handle the claim for you.

SOURCES:

  1. DogBite.org. Dog Bite Statistics. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  2. The Humane Society of the United States. How to Avoid a Dog Bite. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
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