Dogs have been considered man’s best friend for centuries and are some of the most loyal animals in the world. Millions of people throughout the United States have dogs as pets.
A majority of these people consider their dogs as part of the family. Dogs reciprocate the love and affection from their owners by being enthusiastic and eager-to-please.
Americans have dogs for a variety of different reasons. Some dog owners just want a cute animal like a pug around the house, while others have dogs for emotional comfort, companionship, or special medical purposes.
Still others own very large dogs, such as pit-bulls or rottweilers, to protect their families, homes, or personal property.
Unfortunately, as common as dogs are in American households, dog bites and dog attacks are almost just as common. Roughly 4.5 million victims endure dog bites every year. About one in five of those dog bites requires medical attention due to the seriousness of the incurred injuries.
Dog Breeds and Cases of Biting
Most people commonly associate certain dog breeds with dog bites because some breeds tend to be more aggressive and violent than others.
There has been a great deal of research into the relationship between a dog’s breed and a dog’s propensity for violence. Research conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has discovered that the following breeds of dogs bite more often:
- Pit Bull;
- Doberman Pinscher;
- German Shepherd;
- Jack Russel Terrier;
- Labrador Retriever;
- Saint Bernard;
- Chow; and
Research performed by the Center for Disease Control and AVMA into the subject lasted for almost 20 years. The results demonstrated that put bulls and rottweilers are the two dog breeds most prone to cases of biting. Over half of all dog bites consisted of similar breeds of dogs.
However, the AVMA did not recommend that certain breeds of dogs being labeled as biters. The AVMA maintains that aggression in dogs is connected to numerous factors aside from breed alone.
Tips for Avoiding Dog Bites
So, how can you avoid getting bitten by a dog? Although it may not be possible to always foresee or avoid a dog attack, there are several steps that you can take to greatly reduce the risk.
Below are some helpful tips to follow:
- Stay alert when walking or biking outside, and be particularly mindful of loose dogs.
- Carry pepper spray in case an aggressive dog makes contact with you.
- If you know of a street where loose dogs commonly running around, avoid that street.
- If you encounter an aggressive dog inside a fenced yard, cross the street and walk on the other side. Dogs have been known to jump over fences or find other ways to escape.
- Never trespass on someone else’s private property.
- Even when you are an invited guest, be cautious because dogs can be territorial of their property.
- Never approach an unknown dog.
- Do not disturb dogs when they are eating or sleeping.
- Use special caution around dogs that have puppies. Mother dogs tend to be extremely protective of their young.
- Permit dogs to smell your hand and calm down before you pet or play with them.
- Explain to your kids the importance of being cautious around all dogs, especially unknown ones.
- Teach your children to never hit, kick, or pull on the tail of a dog.
- Try to always remain calm and comfortable around dogs.
- Do not run away from dogs, except in cases of emergency.
- Call animal control if you encounter any stray dogs.
Most Commonly Occurring Dog Bite Injuries
Most people commonly believe that dog bites are simply flesh wounds on one part of the body.
However, dog bites and attacks can be much more severe than that.
Common dog bite injuries include:
- Deep cuts and scratches;
- Severe scarring;
- Soft tissue damage;
- Fractured or broken bones;
- Vision or hearing loss or impairment;
- Bacterial infections;
- Severe pain;
- Exposure to rabies;
- Emotional trauma; and
- Post-traumatic stress disorder.
In some of the most severe cases, especially those involving young children, dog bites can even be deadly.
What Should You do After Being Bit by a Dog?
The biggest concern with dog bites is the risk of infection.If a dog bites you, it is important to follow the below steps:
- Wash the wound and try and slow down the bleeding.
- Wrap the wound in a sterile bandage.
- Seek immediate medical attention.
- Take pictures of your injuries and keep detailed records.
- Call the police and report the dog.
- Talk to an experienced dog bite lawyer.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Virginia Beach
At the Law Office of Scott R. Barney, our seasoned team of attorneys have years of experience handling dog bite lawsuits.
If you or your loved one was a victim of a dog bite, it is imperative that you contact us right away. On top of the physical pain and emotional trauma resulting from a dog bite, it can also place victims in a tough situation financially. Hospital bills for serious dog bites can reach the thousands of dollars.
Dog bite victims have a right to be compensated for all of their injuries. We are aware that your dog bite injuries may be stressful and our experienced lawyers will put your mind at ease. Scott R. Barney is ready to pursue negligent dog owners and help you get the compensation that you deserve.
Our law firm works on a contingency fee basis and only charges legal fees if we are able to recover compensation for you.