How To Avoid a Dog Bite Injury
Being attacked by an animal can be extremely frightening and damaging. Whether you were playing with a dog you thought was friendly or a dog attacked you out of the blue, these animal encounters can have serious repercussions. Sometimes animals are difficult to predict and even dogs you know could become aggressive with little warning. While animal attacks are sometimes unavoidable, it is important to know what you can do to avoid a dog attack and what to do if an animal becomes violent.
Tips to help avoid a dog attack:
Never approach a dog you don’t know. Not all animals are friendly, and even friendly animals can be defensive and aggressive with people they don’t know. So, never approach a dog without the owner’s consent, and always do so with caution.
Do not leave children alone with a dog, ever. This is crucial. Children rarely know how to recognize the difference between a playful dog and a dog that’s had enough pushing and pulling. Even if the dog is your own, never trust your child alone with a dog without your supervision, or that of another trusted adult. This is especially important around animals your child does not know.
Encourage your children to be safe around dogs. Kids often want to get friendly with dogs, petting them and playing with them. Usually, young children are especially friendly. However, it is important that children know to stay away from dogs they don’t know, unless they have adult supervision and the permission of the dog’s owner. Even if they encounter a dog at a friend’s house, make sure they know how to be safe and smart.
Avoid unleashed dogs. By law, animals should always be on a leash unless they are in a dog park or safely fenced or restrained within their own property. However, many people ignore this rule, or sometimes dogs get out of their yards without their owner’s knowledge. In any case, if you encounter a dog off-leash, avoid it and contact animal control immediately. They will be able to capture the dog safely and return it to their owner. Even if the dog is friendly, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Do not tease a dog. While it may seem like playing to you, it is crucial to remember that dogs are still animals, and taunting an animal is never smart. This could spark an aggressive side of the dog you are playing with, which could end in an attack. Or, if you encounter a dog behind a fence or tied up, do not taunt it with food or interact with it without the owner nearby. Even crouching down in front of a dog, making eye contact, or waving at it could be construed as antagonistic behavior to the dog.
If a dog does attack, stay calm. Animals can sense a change in your feelings, especially if you are fearful. While it may seem impossible to remain calm when facing an angry dog, it is important to do what you can to stay in control. Avoid eye contact with the dog because it may see this as a challenge, and turn sideways so that the dog is neither behind you nor directly at your front. Watch the dog, and call for help if you can. If you are unable to call for help, try to blind the dog with a towel or blanket, and keep an object, like a table or other furniture, between yourself and the animal until you can get away. If you find yourself on the ground, curl into a ball and protect your head and neck as best you can. If you remain still, there is a higher chance that the dog will lose interest and leave you alone.
While implementing each of these precautions can help reduce your chance of a dog attack, sometimes these awful situations are unavoidable. If you were injured by an aggressive dog, our firm wants to help.
Understanding Dog Bite Laws
In Pennsylvania, you only have 2 years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury case with the court system. After this time restraint has passed, you will no longer be able to take legal action. It is also important to note that there are two key defenses for dog bite cases: trespassing and provocation. In other words, if the injured person was bitten because he or she was trespassing, and the dog attacked, the dog’s owner might not be found liable for the injuries. Likewise, if the dog is provoked to attack, the owner might also be freed from liability.
If you were injured in a dog attack, it is important that you act fast to seek justice and compensation for your injuries. Contact Scaringi Law to get started on your Harrisburg personal injury case today.