How to Deal With Dog Bites

October 4, 2012  |  Adriel B. Villarreal

Dog bites are more common than you may realize. Dogs seem to be everywhere we turn from walking on the street with their owner to the local park and maybe even in your friend’s home. Unfortunately, humans cannot control animals in every situation and sometimes these animals attack.
Why Dogs Attack
Most dogs are good natured and don’t viciously attack, but sometimes when provoked or scared they will bite to protect themselves and accidents happen. Even worse, there are dogs that are trained specifically to be aggressive or are aggressive due to their environment. Either way, there are dogs that are prone to attack at any given time.
Increasingly, we are hearing more and more cases about dog bites in this country. In fact, there are about 800,000 reported cases in the United States every single year. These incidents are not isolated to children as many people think; they can happen to anyone of any age. When pet owners become too lax and don’t keep their pets on leashes, they are opening themselves up to a huge liability.
The same is true when they do not keep their dogs kept behind a fence that is tall enough or someplace where they cannot escape. If their dog somehow does escape or is not properly leashed and then bites someone, the owner can be charged with negligence.
Seeking Medical Attention
If a dog bites you, you should seek medical attention immediately. If you cannot get to a doctor by yourself, you should call or have someone else call an ambulance. Even if the only injury is a gash, you need to be checked out by a doctor. The biggest fear here is the risk of the dog transmitting rabies. Rabies, unfortunately, becomes fatal if not treated before symptoms appear. This is why it is vital to visit a doctor immediately.
You can also suffer other personal injury such as:

  • Blood loss
  • Internal bleeding
  • Muscle tears
  • Tendon/ligament damage
  • Lacerations
  • Transmissions of other diseases and bacteria

Treatment for these injuries could be done in just one doctor’s office visit or they could be ongoing. The more damage that is done from the attack, the longer the recovery time will be. In fact, in many cases there is irreparable harm done which could leave you out of work and unable to support yourself. It can also keep you from doing the things that you love to do.
The medical bills for ongoing treatment can really add up to a point that you can no longer afford all of your bills. You may even be put into the position of either paying your daily living expenses or receiving treatment.
Someone Should Be Held Responsible
Accident or not, dog owners are responsible for their dog’s actions. The law is out there to protect people from damage done by another person’s dog. The dog bite law differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but essentially states that owners are responsible for when their dog bites.
To find out how to get the compensation you deserve, you should contact dog bite attorneys who know this type of law inside and out. Barna, Guzy & Steffen has personal injury attorneys with more than 50 year of combined experience helping people in the Minneapolis area of Minnesota.
When you call our office for a free consultation, you will speak with a personal injury attorney who will explain how lawsuits are started against the dog owner and the process that is followed by the court. Most homeowners and renters insurance cover the owners in this case and typically these cases end in a settlement, awarding the victim money to cover current and future medical expenses, pain and suffering and loss of wages.
Owning a dog is very rewarding but with the perks come responsibilities. It’s unfortunate that man’s best friend can turn into someone’s worst nightmare, but at Barna, Guzy & Steffen, LTD., we can help you to finally wake up from it.