Dogs can be man’s best friend, a loving companion that is part of the family. Almost any kind of animal can bite, but the most common kind is dog bites. They can cause serious injury, as well as lead to infection. With so many dog owners in this country, it is inevitable that people will get bitten.
Even though all dogs might bite, and the thought of can be frightening, being aware of the risks can prevent them. Dog owners and people that encounter dogs should all take precautions around them.
Preventing Dog Bites
Children are at higher risk for dog bites than adults. Never allow small children to play unsupervised around dogs, whether familiar or unfamiliar. Also, avoid approaching dogs that you do not know. If you are out and want to pet someone else’s dog, always ask the owner first, and let the dog sniff you before you touch it.
When encountering an unfamiliar dog, do not move, panic, shout, or run away. This can put the dog on the defensive or cause it to chase you. Do not face them directly or look them straight in the eye; this may antagonize them. If a dog manages to knock you down, curl up into a ball and remain still. If you see a stray in your neighborhood, report it.
Pet owners need to be aware of risk factors for their own dogs. If your dog is asleep, eating, or taking care of puppies, keep your distance. Do not play too aggressively with them, and step back if they are showing signs of being tired or irritated.
If you or a companion has been bitten by a dog, remain calm. Once you are in a safe place, wash minor wounds thoroughly with soap and water, and apply an antibiotic cream. Cover it with a clean bandage. If it turns red, painful, or swollen, seek medical help immediately, as this may be a sign of infection. Other warning signs include fever and swelling of the wounded area.
For serious bites, call 911 and apply pressure to stop any bleeding. For all bites, you must find out if the dog has been vaccinated against rabies and if you have ever had a tetanus shot.
Liability and Dog Bites
Pennsylvania has laws that can protect dog bite victims. The statute of limitations is two years after the injury occurred. According to Pennsylvania’s Dangerous Dog Laws, 3 P.S. 459, a dog is considered a “dangerous dog” if it has injured or attacked a human being without being provoked, whether on public or private property. It must also have a history of this behavior. Pennsylvania also has laws that hold owners liable in certain cases, such as failing to keep the dog on a leash, inside or on their property, or “under the reasonable control of some person.”
In some cases, it has been shown that the victim provoked the dog. Also, if the victim was trespassing on the dog owner’s property, the dog bite laws may not apply.
Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Work with Dog Bite Victims
Even gentle dogs can bite if provoked or mishandled. Contact the Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. Our highly experienced personal injury lawyers have handled many dog bite cases for owners and victims. Call us today at 215-569-8488 or complete our online form to schedule an initial consultation. With offices throughout Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout the state, Delaware, and New Jersey.