Prevent Dog Bites by Following These Safety Tips

dog growling on groundEach year, millions of Americans are bitten by dogs, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2017 alone, approximately $700 million was paid out for insurance claims related to dog bites.

While a dog bite can happen to anyone, children and senior citizens are the first and second most common victims. Unfortunately, children and the elderly are also more likely to suffer severe injuries in a dog attack.

If you or someone you love was bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our Savannah dog bite attorneys have experience helping victims of dog bites, pursuing maximum compensation for injuries. Request a free, no obligation consultation now to learn the legal options available.

Dog Bite Prevention Tips

While some dog bites are unavoidable, most dog bites are preventable if you follow practical safety tips:

  • Never reach out to pet an unfamiliar dog. Always ask the dog’s owner for permission.
  • When you receive permission from the owner, allow the dog to sniff your closed hand before petting it and only pet the dog on its shoulders or chest.
  • Do not pet a dog as it is eating, chewing a toy, nursing puppies or sleeping.
  • If a dog is barking or growling, keep your distance.
  • Dogs can display certain body language that may indicate they feel uncomfortable and may bite. This includes a tensed body, backing away, stiff tail, tongue flicking and intense staring. Avoid a dog displaying this body language.
  • If a dog is loose, tied up or kept behind a fence, do not approach it.
  • If you are approached by an unknown dog, do not scream or run away from it. Stay still and keep quiet. Never turn your back on a dog that you think may bite.
  • Never approach a dog that is injured. Find the owner or contact animal control to help the animal.
  • Never tease, pinch, hit or poke a dog, or pull a dog’s tail.
  • Do not leave small children unattended with dogs, even the family pet.
  • Always monitor children around dogs for the child’s and animal’s safety.
  • Teach children to play gently with dogs.

If you think a dog may attack you, there are several steps you can take to reduce the risk of an attack:

  • Stay calm and quiet.
  • Keep your hands to your sides, stay motionless and do not make eye contact with the dog.
  • If the dog loses interest, back away slowly until you are out of sight.
  • If a dog attacks, put something between you and the dog like a jacket, bag, bicycle or other item.
  • If you are knocked to the ground by a dog, curl your body into a ball and cover your ears with your hands. Stay quiet and motionless.

What to Do If You Are Bitten by a Dog

If you suffer a dog bite, take the following steps to protect your health and your rights:

  • Wash the wound with warm, soapy water right away.
  • Seek medical treatment.
  • Contact your local animal care and control department to report the incident. Give the agency all information you have about the dog, including the owner’s name and contact information, if the dog is a suspected stray, where the incident occurred, what the dog looks like, where it was headed and if you have seen it in the area before.
  • Contact a dog bite lawyer to learn your legal options for recovering compensation of your injuries.

Contact Roden Law Now

If you or someone you love was bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Roden Law’s Savannah personal injury attorneys will fight to hold negligent dog owners responsible for the harm you have suffered and pursue maximum compensation for your injuries.

We offer a free, no obligation consultation so you can learn what legal options are available for pursuing damages. Our dog bite lawyers work on contingency, so you do not pay upfront fees. We are only paid if we recover compensation for your injuries.