Being bitten by a dog is a traumatic event. You not only suffer physical injuries but you also suffer emotional and financial damages. Some dog bite victims require extensive medical care and psychological counseling to overcome the injuries caused by a dog bite. If you can avoid a dog bite, you should. Below is a discussion of things you can do to reduce your risk of being bitten by a dog this summer.
Tips for Avoiding Dog Bites
One of the best ways to tell if a dog may be about to attack or bite is to pay attention to the dog’s body language. According to The Humane Society of the United States, warning signs that may indicate a dog attack include:
- Tensed body
- Furrowed brow
- Intense stare
- Flicking tongue
- Stiff tail
- Head and/or ears pulled back
- Eyes that are rolled back so that the whites of the dog’s eyes are visible
- The dog is backing away
Of course, your behavior is important because your behavior can increase the risk of being bitten by a dog. You should never approach a strange dog even if that dog is confined (e.g. by a fence or cage) or restrained by a chain. You never know if the dog has been trained to attack. Many dog breeds are extremely territorial; therefore, invading the dog’s space significantly increases the risk of dog bites.
While it may be tempting to approach a dog with her puppies because puppies are so cute and seem so innocent, this is a huge mistake. A mother will use any means necessary to protect her pups. You may not have any hostile intentions but the dog does not know that — she will act first out of caution for her pups. Never approach a mother with her puppies. Even trained animal experts must be careful when caring for mothers and their puppies.
What Do I Do If A Dog Approaches Me?
If a dog approaches you, try not to make eye contact with the dog as this may be perceived as an aggressive act. Watch the dog without making eye contact by keeping your head down with your hands at your side. If the dog does lunge, put anything you can between you and the dog (i.e. purse, jacket, bag, etc.) so the dog has something other than your skin to bite. Once the dog loses interest, slowly begin to back away. If you are attacked and you are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and resist the urge to scream or fight back.
What Should I Do If I Am Bitten By A Dog?
If you are bitten by a dog, wash the wound immediately with soap and warm water. For severe injuries, go to the emergency room. If you do not believe your injury requires a trip to the emergency room, you should contact your physician that day to determine the care and treatment you need to avoid making the injury worse. Your health should be your top priority at this point.
Before leaving the scene of the attack, obtain and names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the dog bite including the name of the dog’s owner if he or she is present. Take photographs of your wounds immediately after the dog bite and during your recovery to document your injury. Photographs can be used with your medical records to demonstrate the severity of your injury. Because dog attacks are serious, you should also report any dog bites to your local animal control agency and cooperate with any investigation conducted by authorities.
Do I Need an Attorney For A Dog Bite?
In most cases, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Bloomington dog bite attorney before discussing your claim with the dog’s owner, an insurance company, or other party representing the dog’s owner. You could harm your dog bite claim by dealing directly with the owner or the insurance company. Never provide a recorded or written statement or sign any documents until you have consulted with an attorney.
You have the right to be compensated for your losses, damages, and injuries if you are bitten by a dog under Indiana’s personal injury laws. Protect your right to receive compensation by contacting The Ken Nunn Law Office at 1-800-CALL-KEN or 1-800-225-5536 for a free legal consultation. You may also access our Live Chat online 24/7 for your convenience.