A dog bite can be a rare and unusual circumstance. It is important to know what to do and how not to panic, in order to reduce risk of further injury and infection. First and foremost, if you or a loved one were bitten by another person’s dog, talk to a dog bite lawyer in Kansas City to pursue compensation.
Risks of a Dog Bite
Serious dog bite injuries can require medical attention and even reconstructive surgery. Dogs have rounded teeth, so it is the pure pressure of their jaws that can cause significant damage to the skin and under the skin to the bones, muscles, tendons, blood vessels, and nerves. Dogs like other animals also increase the risk of certain infections such as tetanus and rabies. Wound cleaning can substantially decrease this risk of infection, but medical evaluation is still recommended. Skin repair may also increase the risk of infection, while sutures balance this risk.
What Should You Do if You Get Bit by a Dog?
There are several steps that should be taken if you or someone around you is bitten by a dog, in order to prevent further attack and injury.
- Go to a safe place away from the dog that has bitten you.
- Infants and children should always be medically evaluated after a dog bite. For adults, if there is no skin damage, or only a small abrasion, you do not require medical attention. Nevertheless, you should watch for signs of an infection such as pain, change of color or redness, warmth, drainage, or swelling in or around the bite.
- Wounds should be kept elevated and cleaned with tap water.
- Try to gather information about the dog from its owner, especially it’s immunization record. If this is not possible the hospital, animal control center, or law enforcement will assist you.
- If the bite disrupts the skin causing a puncture, laceration, or tear, call your doctor and go to the nearest emergency hospital location.
Dog Bite Statistics
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.5 million Americans are involved in dog bites every year. Of these cases, 20 percent typically require medical attention. Each state has different laws regarding dog bites, but they are typically categorized into certain bite laws or strict liability laws. Dog bites can be serious to your health, so it is important to know what to do next if you get bit by a dog.
Dog bites account for 90% of the U.S. animal bites per year. Often times the bite may go unreported, but more than 27,000 victims require reconstructive surgery. The greater the number of dogs in a home or area, the increased risk of a dog bite. Men are also bitten by dogs more often than women; women are more often bitten by cats. Although most dogs make loyal companions and are friendly and sociable, there are some dog breeds that act aggressively especially when they feel threatened.
Most aggressive dog breeds:
- Pit Bulls
- German Shepards
- Dog breeds commonly associated with dog bites:
- Chow Chows
- Alaskan Malamutes
- Doberman Pincers
This makes it clear that any type of dog is capable of an attack. The key is not to be an antagonist and do not provoke dogs to attack.
One Bite Laws
Some states oblige the one bite law. This law is like a one-time pass for dogs and dog owners that allows them to bite once, without ramifications. In this scenario, the owner had no idea that their dog would bite, but in the future since they know now that their dog could bite, this rule would not apply.
Other states follow strict liability laws. This law imposes strict liability on the dog owner, depending on certain conditions. Even if the owner took necessary steps to prevent the attack, they could still be held liable. Typically, these laws require that the individual was allowed on the property legally and that the individual did not provoke the animal in any way some states may differ on whether these liability laws are enforced on public or private property.