Every year in the U.S. there are millions of people getting bitten by dogs. Most dog bite incident wasn’t serious; however, many suffer from pain and trauma along with medical bills and not able to get to work. Children are often the ones to receive a disproportionate share of bites.
In legal talks, dog bite injury varies from cases to cases. First, in every State, there are laws that make dog owners responsible for injuries and damages their animal caused under certain circumstances. On the other hand, some states follow a different one, this is a law that makes owners liable no matter what the situation.
What are the most common causes of Dog Bites Injury?
The are a lot of possible reasons why a dog bites or attack people. In some cases, a dog’s level of aggression shown may have to do with its breed. Since it is in the genetic makeup of a dog, there is no cure for this behavior.
Thus, working with a trainer and understanding signs from your dog can be very helpful. Aggression triggers can be avoided in many ways and it starts with knowing your own dog’s pattern of behavior and health issue.
Here are the common causes of a dog bite or dog attacks:
- Health Issue/Illness. Not known to many, health problems in dogs causes aggression. Illness like hypothyroidism, neurological problems, brain-related trauma or disease triggers aggression and bad behaviors in dogs.
- Instinctive Aggression. This is a common cause for dog attacks. By nature, dogs have a dominant and territorial aggressive behavior. Since dogs are pack animals they also consider their owner as part of it. In result, when a dog owner’s in a dangerous situation they tend to be aggressive. As well as being territorial, when they see outsiders or people not from their pack, they usually display aggression as to defend their area.
- Fear-Induced Aggression. Like humans, dogs can build a defense mechanism when in fear or in a disadvantageous place. This is common with abused dogs, with the fear of getting beaten or punished if gets caught. Unpredictable children also trigger this aggression.
- Maternal Aggression. This type of aggression is not just applicable to dogs, even humans have maternal aggression when unfamiliar people approach their baby or a dog’s puppies.
Most common Injuries, diagnosis, and treatments
Aside from dog bites, when attacked by a dog, you can gain injuries like lacerations, punctures, crush injuries, nerve damage, sprain and strain muscles, infection and emotional trauma.
The first priority when this instance happens is to check for dog bites and to protect the victim from infection. The wound should be cleaned properly by a professional medical practitioner. It is also important to find out if the victim had a tetanus shot.
If a dog may be known to be a stray dog or rabid, the victim must be treated preventatively with rabies. It is also important to seek psychological therapy when you encountered a serious dog attack.
This kind of incident does not just leave scars on the body but also in our mind. Emotional trauma, especially to children, is devastating; therefore, do not hesitate to visit a mental health practitioner.
How to Prevent Dog bites and attacks?
Dogs are man’s best friend, however, there are some events that a dog’s instinct for aggression prevails. To prevent this incident, when choosing a dog for a pet, pick one with good temperament. In addition, never leave your young children with unfamiliar ones and even with your family dog. If you are feeding your dog, do not try to play with them. Dogs are highly territorial with food, pack, areas, and their puppies.
If you are not fond of dogs or animals in general, it is advised to stay away from them. Thus, whenever you want to approach one, do so slowly and give the dog a chance to approach you. Lastly, if you encounter an aggressive dog, do not panic. You must try to stay calm, not run away or scream and make sure not to make eye contact with the dog.
Compensation for Damages
After getting medical attention, you should also consider consulting an attorney with experience in animal bite/attack cases. You may recover damages and get compensation once the lawyer established that you have a legal claim.
Thus, before seeking help from legal professions, you should provide the names and contacts of the animal’s owner.
If by chance, that you were not able to get a hold of this information, a neighbor or witness might be able to provide it to you. Moreover, if there are witnesses, get their contact details and written or oral report.
In this type of event, depending on your injuries resulting from the dog bite or attack, you may be entitled to recover for:
- Medical Expenses: treatment for dog bites and attack can be expensive. The costs of which may depend upon the seriousness of the injuries you receive. Aside from this, medical expenses for this incident may also cover both physical and mental trauma.
- Lost Wages: After getting treated, some injuries might be serious and fatal. Damages that made you took days off work may be a claim for compensation.
- Pain and Suffering: Mental trauma is especially serious with children attacked by dogs. This type of pain and suffering does not only go to the victim but also along with the family. Victims who gain emotional trauma and permanent damage may claim compensation from the dog’s owner.
- Property damage: In some cases, when a dog gets aggressive, property damage can happen. Upon this incident, the property owner may claim compensation for the damages.
In some case, you may claim for punitive damages. This claim is given to punish someone of his or her behavior. To be entitled to this claim, you need to have evidence that justifies reckless or intentional conduct. An example is a dog owner who knows that his dog was dangerous yet allowed his dog to be in public that leads to an attack.
Seek Legal Help
If you have been bitten or attacked by an animal or a dog, you may be entitled to damages claim. Seek legal help from attorneys who have experience in animal attacks. They will help you determine your legal claim, what sort of damages you are entitled to and lessen the complexity of the process.