When you’re visiting someone’s house, walking around the neighborhood, or visiting a park, there’s a good chance you’ll see a dog. While dogs are usually a great companion to their owners, this doesn’t always mean the dog acts the same around others. The owner is supposed to take measures to keep others safe around their dog, but sometimes owners are negligent. If a dog is able to get loose, they may bite someone. If you or a loved one was bitten by a dog, you may have sustained serious injuries and are eligible for compensation. Seek your legal options with our Parkersburg dog bite lawyer at DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC.
Why Do Dogs Bite?
When dogs feel threatened, they are likely to lash out. While people may think certain breeds are more likely to bite, any time a dog feels unsafe, they may bite to protect themselves. If a dog is sleeping, hurt, or around their food or their puppies, they’re likely to be more protective and on the defense. People should be cautious around dogs in this state.
It’s also important to know that children are at risk of dog bites because they may not know the above information or aren’t aware if they’re petting too hard. Because they are at eye-level with the dog, they could sustain more serious injuries. Children should never play with a dog unsupervised.
Tips for Preventing Dog Bites
If you’re around a dog, following these CDC tips can help you prevent a dog bite from occurring. Ask permission before petting someone else’s dog. If you get permission, let the dog see and smell you. If there’s a dog approaching you and you don’t want it to interact with you, be still, avoid eye contact, and stand with your side facing the dog, as facing head-on may appear aggressive.
Avoid running, panicking, and making loud noises around a dog. You can try telling the dog “no” or “go home,” and they may return to their owner. If not, slowly raise your hands to your neck and keep your elbows tucked in. Once the dog passes or you are able to slowly back away, you should let someone know about the dog.
While you may have these tips on hand, sometimes this isn’t enough to prevent a dog bite. It’s possible the dog owner isn’t taking care to keep their dog under control. For example, when they’re taking their dog out for a walk, the dog should be on a leash. If the dog is outside, it should be enclosed in a way so it cannot leave the property. Fences shouldn’t have holes the dog can get through and gates shouldn’t be left open. If the owner doesn’t take these precautions, they’re putting others at risk. In West Virginia, Article 20 §19-20-13 states an owner who allows a dog to run at large can be held liable for the injuries and damages the dog causes.
They also need to be aware of their dog when people are visiting their house. If there are many people in the house and it’s boisterous, it could be too much for the dog. Putting the dog outside or in a quiet space where they aren’t subjected to the noise and excitement can help keep them calm and will keep guests safe.
What You Should Do After a Dog Bite?
Dog bites can be terrifying and painful. The teeth can tear skin, muscle, and sometimes break bones. If the dog is large, they may knock someone off balance and they can sustain fall injuries.
After a dog bite, you need to get to a safe spot. Call for medical attention. In the meantime, if you’re able, wash the wound with soap and water, put antibiotic cream on it, and secure it with a bandage. To stop any bleeding, applying pressure with a clean cloth should work. If it doesn’t stop and you are starting to feel weak, you need to get help immediately.
You should also see a healthcare provider if the wound is serious or becomes painful and red, you get a fever, you haven’t had a tetanus shot in the last five years, or you’re unsure if the dog is vaccinated against rabies.
Falling injuries from a dog knocking someone over can result in head injuries, broken bones, and soft-tissue injuries like strains and sprains. These will also need medical care and time to heal.
Waiting to see a doctor could allow injuries to worsen or infections to set in. Sometimes, dogs can transfer disease through bites. While rabies is the greatest concern, other diseases can cause serious health issues as well. It’s best to get to the doctor as soon as possible so they can find out the extent of your injuries and start treatment.
Children may sustain more traumatic injuries like facial fractures. These can take extensive medical care to heal and will likely take an emotional toll as well. These injuries can have long-lasting consequences and deserve proper physical and emotional treatment.
After you’ve taken care of your health, it’s time to focus on getting the justice you deserve. Call a dog bite lawyer so you can begin the legal process.
How Our Lawyers Can Help Dog Bite Victims
If you’ve been harmed because of another person’s dog, you have options. Our lawyers understand how tricky these types of claims can be. You may know the owner of the dog that attacked you or your loved one. Filing a claim against them may make you worry about maintaining your relationship. However, it was their responsibility to stay in control of their dog. You need to put your health first. Your claim will be the key to your recovery. With compensation for your injuries, you can pay your medical expenses and other damages. If your injuries prevented you from working, you can also recover lost wages.
When you meet with our lawyers, we’ll go over what happened, and discuss how you were injured and how these injuries have affected you. Schedule an obligation-free consultation with our firm today. We’ll find the best way for you to move forward.