Keeping Your Family Safe From Dog Bite Accidents
Every year, millions of dogs are dumped at shelters because the owners do not anticipate the true responsibilities of owning an animal. Dogs are “man’s best friend,” but they also entail a great deal of work and expense. Not only do many owners fail to take care of their dog’s basic needs such as shots and sterilization, but they also do not realize when they get that cute puppy that it will grown into a full-size dog whose behavior will be largely determined by the owner’s commitment to training. Owners who allow their dogs to behave in any way they choose often end up with uncontrolled, dangerous animals.
This situation is very sad for a variety of reasons. First, the dogs always suffer when they are allowed to behave badly. Eventually, an uncontrolled dog may bite, which can lead to confiscation and euthanizing of the pet. Second, the situation often results in very serious consequences for both owners and victims. Owners may face fines and even jail time under certain circumstances. Victims face months or years of suffering and medical treatment; in some cases, victims actually lose their lives due to attacks by vicious dogs.
However, what is most regrettable about this situation is that it never needs to happen. By taking responsibility for their animals, dog owners can prevent almost any dog bite and allow their pets to have a safe and happy life.
Dog Bite Statistics Not a Joke
Many people treat dog bites as a small problem, but the statistics tell a different story. According to the Centers for Disease Control, dog bites account for more than 830,000 emergency room visits each year. The CDC estimates that at least 4.7 million people are bitten in the United States each year; this means that in any given year, at least two percent of the population suffers from dog bites. These numbers are probably low given the fact that most people who are not badly injured fail to report dog bite attacks.
It may seem strange that anyone would fail to report a dog bite, but many victims are friends or relatives of the dog’s owner and are afraid to “make trouble” by reporting the attack. This means that the dog is free to bite again, and the owner must take no responsibility for the dog’s behavior. This is a recipe for creating a more serious bite situation in the future.
Does the Law Hold Owners Accountable?
There are states in which a one-bite rule applies, but California is not one of them. In some states, a dog that has never bitten is given the “benefit of the doubt” and owners may not be held accountable if the dog bites once.
Should I Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney?
Even if your dog bite was not “serious,” it is important that you recover damages for your medical bills as well as your pain and suffering. This is not only important from a financial standpoint but also to hold the owner accountable and force him or her to address the biting behavior.