A dog can bite at any time, though their body language will often give us plenty of notice before that happens. Still, in some cases, a dog can snap, bite, or attack with little or no provocation and that incident can lead to extensive injuries, damages, and trauma.
Since many communities, towns, and cities are reversing antiquated breed-specific legislation, many people are adopting or buying dogs that were previously not allowed in their area, leading to many first-time dog owners committing to an animal they might not be ready for. This can lead to lapses in training and care, which allows negative behaviors and even dangerous tendencies to develop.
Are Some Dogs More Prone To Biting?
Current studies agree that there are no specifically aggressive dog breeds or breeds more prone to biting. Animal behavior specialists and vets confidently say that the main problem lies with both training and education.
Many dog owners do not put in the time, expense, and care needed to properly and reliably train their dogs. This applies to areas where breed-specific laws have recently been repealed as well as areas where dog breed ownership has not been restricted. Owning any dog is a commitment for the life of that animal, and unfortunately, some owners are simply unwilling or unable to properly invest in their dog.
Another problem is created by a lack of education when dealing with unfamiliar or unfriendly dogs. Some people are not educated on how to properly interact with dogs and how to read their body language, through no fault of their own they are simply unaware of how to behave around dogs. This can create an incredibly dangerous situation with any nearby dogs.
Many dogs can be quite protective of their home, their owners and family, the vehicle they are in, or even simply their personal space. If the dog has not been properly trained, or if the owner has not properly restrained them or warned approaching people about the dog, then there may be the circumstances needed for a devastating accident.
Causes Behind Dog Bites
Thousands of times every year someone is bitten by a dog in an accident. These, like most accidents, are caused in large part by the negligence of one or more parties. Generally, this is on the part of the dog owner, either for negligence in restraining or training the dog, but this is not always the case. New York considers contributory negligence in personal injury cases, so if there was found to be negligence from both parties, then the overall settlement for the victim may be reduced. In some cases, it may be eliminated, if the contributory negligence is found to be 51% or greater.
Sometimes the dog will attack or bite out of fear or protection. Someone trying to touch a dog’s toy or food may trigger a bite. If a dog is on its own territory, like a yard or an apartment, it can bite someone it feels is an intruder, even when they are invited guests like friends, family, or even repair technicians and package delivery services. If you are on someone else’s property and are bitten by a dog, they may be liable for your injuries and damages.
Injuries Common In Dog Bites
The injuries that are possible in a dog bite incident are more varied than the breeds of dogs that cause them. They are all painful in their own ways, and each come with their own unique and challenging paths to recovery. If you are involved in a dog bite incident or a dog attack, you may suffer:
- Bruises and abrasions;
- Cuts and deeper lacerations;
- Broken bones and fractures;
- High incidence of infection;
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Damage to the spinal column;
- Nerve damage;
- Psychological damage.
The recovery for these injuries can range from only a few days or weeks to more serious injuries that take several weeks or even months to heal. The most severe injuries, such as those to the skull, spine, and nerves, may take years to fully recover from if full recovery is an option.
Many of the most serious injuries can leave the victim with lifelong aftereffects such as chronic pain, scarring and disfigurement, and deep psychological trauma. This can include a new distrust in even the most familiar dogs, such as lifelong companions and family pets.
Dog Bites To Children
As unfortunate as it is, the most common victims of dog bites are children. Often they are due to the child having no ability or education on how to properly interact with a dog. Sometimes they are even in their own home with a family pet when they are bitten. This is why it is crucial to start teaching children at an early age, how to safely interact with dogs. Some tips for safe canine interaction include:
- Do not sneak up behind a dog, scaring them can cause them to suddenly snap in fear.
- Do not touch a dog’s food or food bowl, especially to take it away.
- Do not pull or tug on any part of a dog’s body. Children frequently pull on ears, paws, and tails, causing dogs to bite in pain or fear.
- Do not stare at a dog. Canine body language can be complex, and frequently staring a dog directly in the eyes is seen as a challenge or a threat.
- Do not put your face too close to their face. This means no puppy kisses. Unfamiliar dogs may see this as a threat and can snap to assert their space.
Why Working With A Lawyer Is The Best Decision For Your Case
Personal injury claims can be a complex and frustrating process, particularly when dealing with the insurer. They take advantage of victims lacking legal counsel every day and save millions by doing it. Leveraging legal representation gives you an edge in negotiations, as well as someone to take care of the paperwork. Your attorney will represent you during litigation as well if needed.
Why Is Shulman Hill Right For My Claim?
Shulman Hill has the experience and the skill to give you the best chance at recovering the damages for your dog bite injury. When claims can be hard enough to collect a fair settlement on, be sure you are utilizing all of the options you can to make your case successful. Reach out to Shulman Hill today to discuss your case.