As the warm months are finally here, many residents and visitors in Cape Cod look forward to spending much of the summer outdoors. From casual strolls to more energetic bike rides or jogs, people will be outside enjoying the warmer climate in excess. Just like their owners, dogs will be outside in greater proportions than in the colder months. With this in mind, we should all take greater care when in contact with an unfamiliar dog, whether or not it is on a leash.
Dog bites can cause any number of injuries from the less serious nip to a terrifying bite to the face, head or neck. If you have been the victim of a dog bite, you will most likely be entitled to some form of compensation for your pain and suffering. A local personal injury attorney with experience handling dog bite cases can help you to maximize your recovery.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are ways to avoid being the victim of a dog bite. Interestingly enough, the organization suggests that people start by being “polite” and respecting the dog’s personal space. While adults can easily manage to behave accordingly in the company of pets, children, especially young kids, may not do so. Often, a child will run up to a dog, on a leash or not, and try to pet the dog. Parents and other adults are encouraged to heed this advice (and teach their children to so as well) and treat dogs with a particular level of respect.
The Humane Society also suggests that people avoid approaching an unfamiliar dog, especially one who is confined behind a fence, tied up or in a car. And when you do attempt to pet a dog, even your own pet, make sure that they have an opportunity to see and sniff you beforehand. When dogs are chewing on a toy, sleeping or with their puppies, it is suggested that you do not bother them. If you come in contact with an unfamiliar dog, realize that they may consider you to be a threat, possibly some kind of intruder.
Another piece of advice offered by the Humane Society is to place a good distance of space between you and the dog, and in doing so, you should assess the situation and look for signs that the dog may attack or bite. If you think a dog is about to attack, here are some additional recommendations the organization provides: 1) resist the urge to scream and run away; 2) stay motionless, with your hands at your sides, and be sure to avoid eye contact with the dog; 3) when the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until he is out of sight (do not turn and run away); 4) if the dog does attack, give him your purse, jacket, bicycle, or any item that you can put between you and the dog.
In Massachusetts, owners or those responsible for a dog are usually held strictly liable for any injuries caused by their dog. A victim is entitled to sue that person for extensive damages. If a dog bit you, your child or another relative, contact a local dog bite attorney as soon as possible. Continue reading