In April, National Dog Bite Prevention Week aims to reduce the potential for dog bites by teaching people about dog bite statistics and dog behavior. This is an important effort since 4.5 million people suffer dog bites every year.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) provides sobering statistics about dog bites, including:
- Of the 4.5 million people who are bitten, 20 percent of them need medical treatment for their wounds
- 359,223 children ages 14 and under suffered dog bites between 2010 and 2012
- People who suffer bites most often are postal workers, children and the elderly
Dog bite prevention tips
The AVMA reminds us that any dog can bite. This may be a dog you own or a dog you have known for a long time. Remember these general tips:
- Don’t pet a strange dog unless you ask the owner if it’s okay; even then, proceed with caution.
- If a dog seems nervous around you, don’t touch it or get too close.
- Don’t make direct eye contact with a strange or nervous dog. This is a signal to the dog that you are challenging him/her.
- Don’t pet a dog on the head, especially if you reach over their face to do so. This is very intimidating for dogs and can upset them.
- Don’t let children put their arms around a dog or put their face close to the dog’s face. This can also be too much for a dog to handle.
- Breaking up a dog fight is very dangerous. Many dog owners suffer serious bites in these situations.
What you need to know about dog bites in Alabama
Under Alabama law, strict liability applies to dog bite cases. This means the dog’s owner is held liable for the injuries. Seeking compensation for your injuries in these cases may be fairly straightforward, but you will likely need an attorney to ensure you receive the compensation you need.
Medical care for dog bites can be extensive. Victims may suffer puncture wounds, scarring, disfigurement, broken or crushed bones, and injuries to the face and neck. Infections are also quite common in dog bite cases. In addition, there may be emotional trauma, especially if the victim is a child.
To recover adequate financial compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and any lost wages, it is best to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer.