According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States, and nearly 20 percent of those bites become infected. Although dogs can be our closest companions, a seemingly innocent interaction with a dog can quickly turn dangerous in the event that the dog lashes out. Severe cases of dog bites can put victims at risk of suffering permanent nerve damage and scarring. Infections, however, can lead to serious illness and even death. In this blog, we share a list of tips on how to prevent dog bites.
Pay Attention to a Dog’s Body Language
Dogs will typically display a wide range of characteristics and behavioral tendencies that indicate aggressiveness – if this is the case, under no circumstances should you approach or touch the dog. Body language including a tensed body, stiff tail, furrowed brow, flicking tongue or intense stare are common warning signs. Put as much space as possible between you and the dog, and slowly back away. Try to avoid turning your back to the dog and running away. Because dogs are natural predators, their instinct may be to chase after you.
Protect Yourself if You Think a Dog May Attack
If you find yourself in a situation that is difficult to escape from and you think a dog is dangerously close to lashing out in an attack, there are things you can do to keep yourself safe. Remain motionless, with your hands at your sides. If the dog pounces towards you, anything you have with you that can be placed between you and the dog will help. “Feeding” the dog your purse, jacket, or bicycle can give you the time you need to get yourself out of the dangerous situation. If you are knocked over, quickly curl into a ball with your hands over your ears.
Keep a Close Eye on Children
Children and men are at the highest risk of being bit by dogs. Because children have an inherent sense of curiosity, they may approach a dog by pulling at its ears and tail, which can prompt the dog to attack. Never leave a child with a dog unsupervised and ensure that your child is never approaching a stranger’s dog without asking the owner first.
Bitten by a dog? Call Randall J. Trost, P.C. Today
Virginia is considered a “one bite” state, which means an owner is liable for any injuries his or her dog may cause if they were aware that their dog was aggressive, dangerous, or has a history of violating animal control laws. If you or a loved one suffered injuries from a dog attack, it’s crucial that you are made aware of your legal options and rights. At Randall J. Trost, P.C. we have extensive knowledge in the complexities of dog bite laws, and we will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive fair and just compensation.
Call our Lynchburg dog bite lawyers at 434.738.2300 to request your free consultation.