Dog bites are on the rise, according to the Insurance Information Institute. New figures also show that Ohio is the nation’s fifth leading state in the number of dog bite injuries. Dog bites are more common in the summer when children spend more time outdoors playing with dogs and because dogs may be more irritable in hotter weather.
Dog bites can lead to serious injuries, including severe bites to the face and neck that can lead to permanent disfigurement. Some victims suffer from a lifetime fear of animals after such a brutal attack. The Cincinnati dog bite lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy have seen firsthand the devastating effects of dog bites. We can discuss your legal rights if you or your loved one was bit by a dog this summer.
There are many ways to reduce your risk of a dog attack this summer, including:
Staying Away From Unrestrained Dogs
Teach your children to stay away from dogs with which they are not familiar or that are not leashed. You do not know the temperament of the dog and if it might perceive your presence as threatening. Lost dogs might be nervous or hungry, making them more likely to attack.
Not Approaching A Dog When It Is Eating
Dogs are very territorial. If they think that you may be stealing their food or taking it away, they may be more likely to attack. Not all dog bites are from unfamiliar dogs; some are from a family’s pet. Teach your kids to wait for the dog to finish its meal before approaching it.
Not Hugging Or Kissing A Dog
Many animal bites are to the face or neck because a young child was very close to the dog while hugging or kissing it. A dog might bite when in this position. Parents should always supervise young children around dogs and teach kids at an early age to avoid aggravating the dog.
Asking To Pet A Dog
Ask the dog’s owner if it is okay to pet it before you approach the dog. Give the dog a chance to sniff you and see you before petting it. This helps the dog get acquainted with you and determine your trustworthiness. Also, dog owners may know better if their dog is safe around kids or others.
Not Harassing A Dog
Never harass a dog, which can lead to it becoming hostile. Do not pull the dog’s tail or tug on it. Teach your kids not to tease any animals.
Avoiding Dogs In Vulnerable Positions
Do not bother dogs that are in a vulnerable position such as when they are sleeping. Also, avoid them when they have protective instincts, such as caring for their puppies. Dogs are more likely to lash out at these times to protect themselves or their young.
If you are confronted by an unfamiliar dog, follow these tips from the CDC to stay safe:
- Remain motionless
- Do not make any loud noises
- Do not panic or run
- Avoid direct eye contact
- Wait for the dog to go away
- Slowly raise your hands to your neck, elbows in
- State clearly and firmly “No” or “Go home”
- Stand with the side of your body facing the dog because directly facing a dog can seem aggressive to the dog
- Curl into a ball with your head tucked and cover your ears and neck with your hands if a dog knocks you over.
Contact An Attorney For Help
If you or your child was bit by a dog, clean out the wound with soap and water if it is safe to do so. Seek immediate medical assistance for serious injuries and report the dog bite to the local authorities. Then, contact a lawyer for help.
Dog bites may cause extensive injuries that require surgery or facial reconstruction. The Cincinnati personal injury lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy are prepared to pursue negligent pet owners to secure compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Our attorneys can discuss your legal options during a free consultation. We work on contingency and only charge legal fees if we are able to recover compensation for your claim.