When Dogs Bite
Today’s topic written by Aaron Crane, an experienced Arizona personal injury attorney at Cantor Crane deals with dog bites. Dogs have been man’s best friend for centuries now. However, dogs can be loyal to a fault. Some dogs will be as sweet as punch with their owner, but will be vicious with strangers. Frequently dog bites occur when two dogs start fighting and the owners try to break the fight up. However, each year, there are countless incidents of dogs attacking random individuals for no reason whatsoever, sometimes without even being provoked.
What to do if You’ve Been Bitten by a Dog or Attacked by a Dog
If you have been the victim of a dog bite or attack, after seeking medical attention, contacting a dog bite attorney is well advised. The law recognizes that the owners of dogs are liable for the actions of their animals. If you do not know who owns the dog, you should contact animal control to attempt to capture the dog to determine if the dog has rabies. Rabies shots are very painful and can be avoided if it can be determined with certainty that the dog does not have rabies.
A dog bite attorney can help you recover any medical costs you may have incurred, such as an ambulance bill, ER bill, follow up visits and even corrective cosmetic surgery. As well as the medical costs, an attorney can help you recover for the pain and suffering, as well as any lost wages or other out of pocket expenses that you may have incurred as a result. Being bitten or attacked by a dog can be a very traumatic experience.
How to Avoid Being Bitten
While you cannot protect yourself from a dog that is attacking for no reason, you can protect yourself from being bitten by seemingly friendly dogs. If you see a dog that you would like to pet, approach with caution, if the owner is present, ask the owner if you can pet the dog. If not, proceed with caution, but you may extend the back of your hand towards the dog, but not close enough to touch. Essentially, you want the dog to smell you from about a foot away. This lets the dog decide if you can pet them. If they want you to pet them, they will usually move closer in a friendly way, if they do not they will move away. When petting the dog, avoid the head and neck area. If signs of aggression do occur, such as growling, back away slowly and avoid eye contact.
Dealing with Dog Bites
Dog bites can occur even if you take all of the proper safety precautions. If you are bitten, you need to clean the wound with soap and water and contact the dog’s owner, animal control and a doctor immediately. If the dog is up to date on its shots, there should be little need for concern. If the dog is not up to date, or you are not familiar with the animal, you may want to receive a rabies shot. It is always best to consult with your physician. Depending on the severity of the wound, you may even need stitches or trip to the emergency room. You should carefully monitor the wound as it heals. If it is healing slowly, or shows any signs of irritation or infection, you should contact your physician again.
If you are the victim of a dog bite, you should contact a qualified legal professional at the earliest opportunity. Even if the bite was minor, you want to protect yourself and explore all your options. Cantor Crane personal injury attorneys are experts in dog bite cases in Arizona. Contact Cantor Crane today at (602) 254-2701.