It’s easy to forget that our pets are animals, ruled by instinct. Pets, both ours and those of our friends, often become part of our extended family. But no matter how loving, affectionate, and well-trained a dog may be, all dogs retain their original ‘programming’ and sometimes that programming tells them to attack in inappropriate situations.
People who suffer dog bites may hesitate to take legal action. They may not want the dog to be hurt. They may not want to cause trouble for neighbors or friends. Although, well-intentioned, ignoring a dog bite can have serious negative consequences. All dog bites should be reported and, when appropriate, legal action can be pursued.
Dog Bites Can Cause Serious Injuries
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that between 4 and 5 million people are bitten by dogs every year in the United States. About 20% of those bites require medical attention, and about 30,000 of these injuries require surgery each year.
Not all of these injuries are immediately obvious. Many people walk away from dog bites thinking the injury is minor, only to develop serious infections and subsidiary conditions in the days and weeks that follow. Documenting the reporting the incident promptly is important to protect yourself in case medical expenses start piling up.
Protecting Others From The Another Dog Attack
When a dog attacks and bites someone, that dog may have attacked before or may attack again in the future. Sometimes people who love animals hesitate to report the bite because of what might happen to the dog. However, there are many options for handling the situation that do not involve harming the animal. Under Maine law, the owners of the animal, not the dog, are held responsible for attacks, bites, and other injuries.
By reporting the incident, you protect the wider the wider community. Children in particular are more likely to be the victims of dog bites as they often fail to recognize the signs of an aggressive animal. After a dog bite is report, both the dog and its owner can be assessed. Steps can be taken (or imposed) to ensure that the dog will not hurt anyone else. Those steps can include:
- Muzzling the dog when it is outside the home, preventing further biting
- Training for the dog and the owner
- Restricting the outside access of the animal
Dog bites can result in serious injuries, large medical bills, and other problems. If you’ve been bitten by a dog, contact us today to discuss the situation and your options.