Dogs often feel more like friends and family members than animals. However, even a happy, playful dog can inflict a severe bite. Dog bites are a common occurrence, landing people in the hospital every day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are around 4.7 million dog bites a year, some of which require medical attention.
Reasons Dogs Bite and Who They Bite
Friends, visitors, repair technicians, workers, and even family members can become victims of a dog bite. Children are particularly vulnerable because they may not understand the dog’s warning signs and play too rough. Parents and pet owners must teach children how to interact with their pet and supervise interactions.
Workers, such as cable providers and electricians, are also vulnerable because dogs are not used to them and may smell like other animals. While socialization is essential, it’s vital to secure the dog when visitors come over. There are several reasons a dog may bite, as well.
Often, dogs bite as an instinctive adverse reaction. If a dog feels scared, threatened, or startled, they may react with violence. Unlike human beings, who can rationalize and make cognitive choices, a dog’s brain functions on instinct. They are not able to measure the consequences of their actions. Also, dogs strike to protect someone or something they have claimed, like a child or food. It may be an act of protection. The animal’s size and the strength of their jaw plays a role in the damage inflicted.
Pain and Sickness
Dogs that are elderly, sick, or injured may bite because they don’t feel well. A well-meaning person that tries to comfort or help the dog may become a victim. Dogs tend to want their space when they are feeling lousy. A warning sign is when the dog growls or whines when a person comes near. Children and guests should be advised when a pet is not up to par, hopefully preventing an incident.
Puppies and dogs may not intend to inflict injury, but they may become too rambunctious during play. Accidents can happen during games, especially with a beloved toy. Canine teeth may slip, inflicting a puncture wound on their human’s hand. It is helpful to take special precautions during play to prevent injury. Visitors and children should be warned not to play, especially with large puppies and newly adopted shelter dogs, until the owner learns the dog better.
Experience and Environment
From the moment a puppy is born, the environment shapes its personality. Unfortunately, abuse, neglect, and lack of training contribute to an adult dog that bites. Dogs with abuse in their history may wind up in shelters, meaning their new owners have an unbalanced pet without knowing.
Responsible pet owners enroll their dogs in a training school or work on good behaviors at home. They also expose their pets to different environments for socialization. It is a smart idea to learn a dog’s warning signs and personality to keep others safe.
Who Is Responsible When a Dog Bites
Even with precautions, dog training school, leashes, and vigilance, accidents happen. Regardless of the circumstance and who the dog bites, the dog owner is usually responsible for injuries inflicted by their animal.
Note that there are some variations in the laws between states. You can contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss your case’s details.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 794-0444
Dog Bite Injuries and Aftermath
The most detrimental cases of dog attacks result in death. Death can stem from an infection, loss of blood, or other complications from severe dog bites. Dog bite deaths can also occur. Family members can typically file a wrongful death lawsuit to try to cover medical expenses, burial, and funeral costs that resulted from the dog attack.
Non-fatal injuries include puncture wounds that can lead to infections due to the bacteria in a dog’s mouth. Children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems might wind up in the hospital from dog bites. Depending on the dog’s strength and length of the attack, a bite can become a critical health concern.
Dog bite victims may be entitled to financial compensation. Losses may include medical bills, hospital stays, lost work, and pain and suffering. Some victims hope to recover but are concerned about lawyer fees and the length of a trial.
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will not collect a fee unless we win, and we first attempt to settle out of court. With all of the other stresses of recovering physically and mentally from a dog bite, it may give you peace of mind to have someone fighting on your side. Call today for your free, no-obligation consultation by dialing (800) 816-0755.