The Centers for Disease Control estimates that there are 4.5 million dog bites in the United States each year. Approximately 800,000 victims require medical attention, with 350,000 of those victims making a trip to the emergency room.
It Is Not Just Pit Bulls and Rottweilers
Pit Bulls and Rottweilers get most of the publicity due to the severity of damage inflicted, but any dog has the potential for harm (including “good” ones). In January, a woman from Ottawa, Canada, received a settlement for an incident at a Home Depot in which she was bitten on the nose by a Shih Tzu, which necessitated plastic surgery. Some may think of Shih Tzus as small and spunky dogs, but probably not maulers. Sharp teeth and anxiety/fear/surprise is a volatile mix, no matter what size the dog.
Over 50 percent of dog bites are inflicted on children 12 years of age and under. Education is the best prevention for dog bites, whether to a child or adult. Here are a few quick rules of thumb:
- Never treat a dog unkindly (sounds obvious to adults, but
- kids may think pulling a tail or ear is funny).
- Don’t bother a dog when it’s busy eating, playing with a
- toy, sleeping, or tending to puppies.
- Never approach an unfamiliar dog in any environment.
- If a loose dog approaches you, stand completely still, keep
- your hands by your side, stay quiet, and look away from the
- Parents, supervise your children when near a dog.
Talk To An Injury Lawyer After A Dog Bite
Dog bite losses exceed $1 billion each year. If you are bitten by a dog and need medical attention, be sure to contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your options.