Statistics concerning dog bite cases are fairly alarming, especially for people with kids. According to the Centers for Disease Control (the “CDC”), half of the almost 4.5 million Americans bitten by dogs each year are children. In fact, children are more likely to require medical treatment after a dog bite than adults. Statistics also indicate that, among children, kids between the ages of five and nine are most likely to be victims of a dog bite.
In 2012, over 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs. Because dog bite injuries can be serious and can cause a variety of lasting problems, victims may be entitled to compensation for their suffering and losses. Victims of dog bites are encouraged to contact an experienced, Cape Cod injury attorney who has the requisite background the handle the case.
Among adults and children, having a dog in the household is associated with a higher incidence of dog bites. If you have children and are considering bringing a new pet into the home, there are ways to protect your kids from dog bites. The CDC suggests speaking with staff at a local animal shelter who can help you to identify a breed that will work well with your family and home life. Also, a veterinarian can guide new dog owners in a variety of ways concerning pet care, especially by recommending a reputable dog trainer. Another suggestion is to be aware of your child’s comfort around dogs, namely, whether he or she has a fear of dogs, in order to determine the right time to get a new pet.
There are several safety tips that parents can teach their children in an attempt to keep everyone safe around dogs. Some of the suggested items are: 1) you should not approach an unfamiliar dog; 2) if you are confronted by an unknown dog, do not run or scream, but remain still, or as motionless as possible; 3) if a dog knocks you over, roll into a ball and stay still; 4) kids should not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult; 5) if you see a stray dog behaving in a strange or unusual way, immediately tell an adult; 6) refrain from making direct eye contact with a dog; 7) do not disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping, or taking care of puppies; 8) do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first; and 9) if you are bitten, immediately report the bite to an adult.
Under Massachusetts’s law, dog owners are strictly liable for bites. That means when a person’s dog bites someone else, the owner is legally responsible, even if the dog has never attacked anyone in the past. Many dog bite claims are covered by a person’s homeowner’s insurance policy, and a victim may seek recover directly from the insurance company. If you or someone you known has been the victim of a dog bite, you are encouraged to reach out to an injury attorney with a great deal of experience handling these cases. A knowledgeable local attorney can help you to recover the appropriate recovery under the circumstances.
Local attorney, John C. Manoog III, has extensive experience helping parties in dog bite cases in Cape Cod. For a free initial consultation, call the office at 888-262-6664 or reach us by email. There is always someone available to talk to you about your case.
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