Davis Dog Bite Lawyer
Every dog lover knows that dogs can be our closest companions. Research continues to show that pets bring many health benefits to their owners such as reducing stress level, improving heart health and adding a purpose to life. However, man’s best friend can sometimes bite. Aside from the pain, dog bites can cause serious injuries, nerve damage, infections, and even death.
The thought of being bitten by a dog is terrifying, but it doesn’t mean that all dogs are dangerous. Most dogs will never bite. However, any dog can bite if provoked regardless of their breed, size, age or gender. Some reasons why dogs bite includes:
- Reaction to stress – if dogs are in a stressful situation, they may bite to defend themselves or their territory.
- Scared or threatened – dogs can bite if they have been startled or threatened.
- Protection – dogs might bite to protect something valuable to them like their puppies, food or toys.
- Not feeling well – dogs can bite if they’re sick or injured and might just want to be left alone.
- Overly excited – Dogs may bite or nip during rough play if they become too excited.
Being aware of their mental state will help you recognize a potential bite incident.Knowing the Risks
Children are more likely than adults to be bitten by a dog, and the injuries can be more severe. Among adults, men are more likely than women to be bitten. More than half of dog bite injuries happen at home with familiar dogs. The higher the number of dogs in the house, the greater the chance of being bitten. Families with more than two dogs in the home are five times more likely to be bitten. By knowing the risks, you can prevent dog bites.
- Don’t allow small children to play with a dog unsupervised.
- Don’t interrupt a dog that is eating, sleeping or caring for puppies.
- Don’t allow your dog to play aggressively.
- Always ask first if it’s okay to pet someone else’s dog.
- Don’t approach an unfamiliar dog.
- Don’t pet a dog without letting him see and sniff you first.
- If you get knocked over by a dog, curl into a fetal position, tuck your head and cover your ears and neck with your hands.
Understanding the risks for dog bites and knowing how to protect yourself will reduce your chance of getting bitten.Dog Bite Statistics
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show that:
- Over four million dog bites happen every year in the nation.
- About 900,000 bites become infected.
- 81% of dog bites cause minor injuries that don’t require medical care.
- 25% of deadly dog attacks were caused by dogs who were chained up.
- Most dogs who bite have not been spayed or neutered.
- Insurance companies have paid over $530 million in dog bite claims in 2014.
Although any dog can bite, the breed of dogs that bite the most are:
- Australian Shepherd
- Bull Terrier
- Cocker Spaniel
- German Shepherd
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Lhasa Apso
Dog bites can cause injury and pain, but they can also cause diseases. About 18% of dog bites are infected with germs. Although there are more than 60 different kinds of bacteria, only some can make you sick. Some of the diseases are:
- Capnocytophaga - a bacteria that can spread through scratches, bites or close contact with an animal. Most people won’t get sick, but those with a weak immune system are at greater risk of becoming ill.
- Pasteurella - a bacteria that commonly causes a red, painful infection at the wound, but can also cause swollen glands and swelling in the joints.
- MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) – an infection that can cause lung, skin, urinary tract and other life-threatening diseases.
- Rabies– an infection that affects the brain and is almost always deadly.
- Tetanus- a toxin that causes severe paralysis.
If a dog bit you, the first thing you should do is wash the wound with soap and water thoroughly. Apply an antibiotic cream to the injury and cover it with a clean bandage. If the wound is deep, apply pressure with a dry, clean cloth to stop the bleeding. If you can’t stop the bleeding or you start to feel weak, call 911 and seek medical attention immediately.
The following video provides first-aid and safety tips from a professional fireman and training officer on how to minimize injuries from a dog bite.Reporting the Dog Bite Incident
Anyone who is bitten by a dog is at risk for contracting diseases. You should consider reporting the incident to your local police department or animal control agency especially if:
- You’re not familiar with the dog and don’t know if he has been vaccinated.
- The dog looks sick or is acting strangely.
You should also contact the owner of the dog to see if the animal has been vaccinated against rabies.Know Your Legal Rights
If you have been bitten by a dog and suffered injuries, you have the legal rights to recover full compensation from the dog owner. The state of California holds dog owners liable for the action and behavior of their pets. According to the California dog bite law, if a dog bites someone and causes injury to the victim, the dog owner is responsible for the injuries and any damages related to the incident. The owner doesn't have to be aware of any past aggressive behavior of the dog.Davis Dog Bite Lawyer
I'm Ed Smith, a dog bite lawyer in Davis. Dog bites could cause serious injuries, infections and even death. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to receive compensation for any injuries that resulted. Call me today for free and friendly legal advice. You can reach me at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400.
I have been working in and around the Davis community on personal injury and wrongful death cases since 1982.
Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels
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Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 11.14.19]