Every year there are millions of people who are bitten by dogs. Hundreds of thousands of these people require medical attention, and some will require hospital care. In addition to this, it is estimated that 25 to 30 people die from dog bites. Nearly all of these dog bite victims are children, and a majority of these children are bitten in the face.
Some of the most aggressive breeds of dogs are responsible for attacks on people. These include pit bulls, chows, and wolf-dog hybrids. In almost two-thirds of these cases, the dog has never before shown any aggressive behavior toward people. However, even family dogs, like Labradors and Dalmatians can be vicious, given the right circumstances.
Dog Bite Prevention
There are several steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of a dog bite. These include:
- Never pet a dog without the owner’s permission first. Approach the dog slowly, and let the dog smell your hand before you pet it.
- Never pet a dog behind a fence. It may attack you because it is protecting its owner’s property.
- Never pet a dog sitting in their owner’s vehicle. Like dogs behind fences, dogs in vehicles may protect their space and that of their owner.
- Never pet a dog that is playing with a toy. It may believe you are trying to take the toy away from them.
What to Do if You are Bitten by a Dog
Events can move quickly if you are bitten by a dog. One thing you should do is be able to positively identify the dog that bit you. If the dog was a stray, you may have to undergo a series of very painful rabies shots. Do not try to yank yourself away from the dog because it will bite down harder.
You should get medical attention as soon as possible. If you have been bitten in the face, be sure to schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon. They may be able to help reduce or eliminate scarring.
If you were bitten by a dog kept by a person, you may be entitled to receive compensation from the animal’s owner for negligence. Any damages you receive may be used to pay bills, pay for future plastic surgery you may need, reimburse any income lost while you were out of work, as well as help you deal with pain and suffering.
You may be contacted by the dog owner’s insurance company. Make sure you get the following information:
- Name address and telephone number of insurance company
- Claim number
- Name of the person who is insured
If you are contacted by the negligent party’s insurance company, do not:
- Discuss anything else that involves money
- Accept any money
- Write a letter or a memo
- Allow yourself to be photographed
- Permit yourself to be taped
- Discuss who is responsible for your injury
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious dog bite, please contact the Madison dog bite lawyers of Boller & Vaughan LLC at 608-268-0268 or submit an online questionnaire. Your initial consultation with the Wisconsin dog bite attorneys of Boller & Vaughan LLC is free of charge and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. In many cases, a personal injury lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Please call right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.