By: Darrell Castle
At Darrell Castle & Associates, we’re no stranger to representing the latest victim of a violent dog attack.
While we love dogs, we know some — for various reasons — can turn from cute and cuddly to vicious and violent. And when dogs attack, the damage they leave can be both expensive and traumatizing.
That’s why we want to provide tips and information on dog attacks. Here are 5 things we think you should know.
1. The Owner’s Responsibility
Dogs can attack for different reasons. Sometimes they’re provoked. Sometimes they’re not.
The most effective ways to prevent dog attacks is the owner’s responsibility. If the dog is trained properly and secured in a yard with proper fencing, then the likelihood of that dog attacking is rare.
But not all dog owners are good dog owners. Failure to train the dog or lack of securing it can lead to dangerous situations.
Dog owners should be aware of their dog’s aggression, and what type of aggression it is. If a dog has aggression issues, then the owner should protect other people — especially kids — from playing and interacting with it. They should also keep a muzzle on hand when the dog is in public to prevent it from biting.
2. Tips to Avoid Being Bitten
When running or walking through your neighborhood, it’s very possible to be confronted by a loose or stray dog. And that dog may or may not be dangerous.
If you’re confronted by an aggressive dog then:
- stay calm
- avoid yelling or kicking at the dog
- avoid direct eye contact with the dog
- stand sideways to make yourself a more narrow target
- if you have one on you, use a cane or umbrella to place in front of you and claim your own space
By following these steps, there’s a good chance the dog will lose interest in you because you aren’t a threat to it. But it’s not a guarantee.
3. Tactics To Get Away From An Attack
First and foremost, always protect your face, chest and throat. And keep your hands in a fist to protect your fingers.
If you’re attacked by a dog, you want to get away with minimal damage. If you have any extra clothing on you — like a sweatshirt or jacket — you can use it to your advantage. You want the dog to latch onto something you can get away from. So take your arm out of your sleeve in hopes the dog will snatch that from you and be done. A shoe may work too.
If you’re bitten and the dog has latched on to you, pulling away too quickly can cause further injury. Instead, try to grab the dog’s back legs to lift it off the ground.
4. What To Do If You’re Injured
If you’re injured in a dog attack, yell for help or call 911 immediately. The quicker your injuries are treated the better your chances are for a quick recovery.
You’ll also want to file a police report of the incident.
5. What An Attorney Can Do For You
After seeking medical treatment and filing a report, you’ll want to contact a personal injury attorney. If the dog wasn’t yours, then you shouldn’t be responsible for the medical bills and other damages. The owner should.
An experienced attorney will track down the owner and make sure you get the compensation you’re entitled to.
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For decades, our attorneys have handled dog attack cases in the Mid-South. We’re here for you if you need us.
We’re detailed, informative and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. And our clients will tell you that too.