Just weeks after a Greenville County deputy was bitten several times during a dog attack, an 11-year-old boy was bitten nine times by a dog after getting off of a school bus. Both attacks show that while dogs can be some of our most trusted companions, in certain situations they can be extremely dangerous. Each year thousands of people suffer serious dog bites, with children being those most likely to suffer injuries. Learning some ways to avoid dog bites might help reduce your chances of being bitten or seriously harmed by a dog.
Maintain a Safe Distance from Unknown Dogs
No matter how small a dog is or how well it appears to be contained, it is always best to keep a safe distance between yourself and any unknown dogs. Regardless of whether a dog is being walked on a leash, is tied in a yard, or is separated from you by a gate or a fence, it is important to stay away from the dog. Any dog can lunge away from its owner at any time or escape from its restraints if it is excited enough. A dog that seems to be safe behind a gate could be aware of a weak spot that you have overlooked or find a way to push its head through a gap.
Avoid Agitated Dogs
Even dogs that you know could pose a danger. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over half of all dog bites come from dogs that are familiar to the victim. If a dog is barking, growling, or displaying any type of hostility, do not approach it even if you have successfully done so in the past. Also, it is a good idea to stay away from dogs during certain times such as when they are eating, drinking, or nursing puppies. A dog who is nervous or wary may mistake your approach as an attempt to take its food or harm its young.
Do Not Run
When approached by a hostile dog, it is natural for a person to turn and run. Unfortunately, this can be one of the worst things to do. Dogs are natural runners and can easily outpace even a well-conditioned adult or child. Even if you do get a head start and feel confident that you could outrun the dog, an unseen object in your path or uneven ground could make you fall, placing you in even more danger. Instead of running, back up slowly at an even pace and avoid startling the dog. Consider turning sideways so you appear less threatening and if you are attacked curl up into a ball to protect your face, head, and neck.
If you are bitten by a dog, seek immediate medical attention and document what happened to you. A skilled dog bite attorney can work on your behalf to ensure that you are compensated for your injuries. Morris Law understands how traumatic a dog attack can be and know that it can have long-term effects on your life. We work on your behalf to obtain the settlement you deserve. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at our Greenville office so that we can begin providing you with the legal advice you need.