Dog bites are no joke – they affect as many as 4.7 million people in the US every year. According to a survey done by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, two percent of the population receives a dog bite every year.
Of these bites 800,000 will require medical attention; that amounts to one out of every six bites. Around the country hospital emergency departments will receive 1,008 bite victims daily, 368,000 annually. Over the past sixteen years the number of people being hospitalized due to their bites increased dramatically, 86 percent, from 1993 to 2008. Each patient could expect to pay an average of $18,200 for their bite-related visit.
The old running joke about postal carriers is no joke as they receive an average of 2,581 bites per year.
Were you attacked by a dog? If so, contact us to get counsel from a Raleigh personal injury attorney today.
Tips for Avoiding Dog Bites
Each year, the Center for Disease Control reports that an alarming number of people are subjected to dog bites. Unfortunately, the people who are usually targeted are small children. If you have a small child, here are some tips that you should share with them so they know how to act when in the presence of a dog, whether a neighbor’s dog or a stray:
- If the dog is unfamiliar, do not approach it.
- If a dog comes near you or heads toward you, do not run and do not scream.
- When approached by an unfamiliar dog, try to stay still and calm.
- Never play with the dog unless an adult is around to supervise.
- If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and be still.
- Do not make direct eye contact with a dog.
Steps to Follow After a Dog Bite
If you or someone you love has been bitten or attacked by a dog, there are several things you should do following the incident:
- Seek medical treatment. Even if you think that the dog bite is minor, it is important to get examined by a medical professional who can detect puncture wounds, broken bones as well as nerve damage.
- Contact police. After you have alerted authorities make sure that you get a detailed copy of the police report. Officers may also decide to alert animal control.
- Identify the dog. Try to remember if you have seen the dog in your neighborhood before and what the dog looked like. Also note if the dog belonged to your neighbor and how it came into contact with you. If you locate the dog’s owner, be sure to take down his/her name, phone number and address.
- Identify witnesses. If anyone saw the dog bite or attack, make sure that you take down their names, numbers and addresses. Should you decide to take legal action in the future, calling upon witnesses will be helpful to your case.
- Contact a lawyer. You can protect your rights and become informed of your legal options when you take the time to contact an attorney that handles dog bite cases in your area.