Children walking to school, joggers, parcel delivery employees, and others are at risk of dog attacks, and bites can become infected or fatal. According to the CDC, approximately 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs in the U.S. every year, and one of every five people bitten require medical attention. There are several crucial things you can do to respond to an aggressive dog.
If a dog is visibly becoming aggressive, avoid making sudden movements as that may further anger the dog. Stand your ground by authoritatively yelling commands like “no” to show you are an alpha. This may aid in helping the dog back down. Look around for an object to pick up or for an area you can retreat to that will create distance between you and the dog. Make sure to never turn your back on the dog as it will make you more vulnerable.
If these steps do not work for you, or if the dog attacks you while you are not paying attention, things can become tricky. If there is an unfamiliar owner involved, the situation may necessitate the need of legal counsel. Here are three things you can do if the unimaginable happens.
Dial the Police and Other Emergency Personnel as Soon as Possible
One of the most important things you can do is remain calm and dial 911 when you are in a safe space. Getting the proper authorities on the scene while it is still fresh will help them to validate your story, especially if any other parties involved have left the scene. Emergency personnel will be able to provide piece of mind, medical care, protection, and mediation, if needed.
Document Your Injuries
The CDC reported that dogs have been found to have over sixty kinds of bacteria in their mouths, including rabies and tetanus which could lead to serious infection. One of the most crucial things you can do to help your case is to document any injuries you may have sustained from the attack. Thanks to the computers/cameras in our pockets, it is easier than ever to take pictures and videos during intense moments, or in their aftermath. Also keep a record of any medical expenses related to your injuries, as they will lead a trail that will show the extent of your injuries.
Do Not Sign Any Legal Documents Without Speaking With A Legal Expert
Even if the owner appears to want to make things right, it is in your best interest to contact a legal professional before signing any paperwork brought to you by the other parties involved or accepting any money from them. Contacting a dog bite lawyer would be a great place to start to learn about your best options and to see if you have a strong personal injury claim.
For pet owners, there are several ways you can try to prevent or fix aggression in your dog, such as spaying and neutering them. Speaking with a veterinarian about possible medical causes of the aggression, applying behavioral rules, and avoiding situations where you know your dog might become aggressive are important steps to take to avoid the risk of your dog attacking someone. If your dog is involved in an attack, it can become quite costly, as millions of dollars in damages have been awarded to victims of dog attacks each year in dog attacks.
If you follow the above mentioned tips, you may be able to prevent a bad situation from getting any worse.