Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Sep 18, 2017 in Personal Injury
Dogs are a popular addition to many households and are often viewed as loyal and trusting animals. However, approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the U.S. with the majority of victims being small children between the ages of five and nine years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Because of the potentially dangerous consequences that could result from a serious dog bite injury, you should always remain cautious when you approach or interact with any dog.
The Phillips Law Group’s skilled personal injury attorneys in Phoenix have provided these useful tips that may help you avoid a dangerous encounter with an aggressive dog and prevent a dog bite. If you or someone you love has been injured by an aggressive dog, our attorneys can help you determine if you have a case against the dog’s owner.
One of the most useful ways to prevent a dog attack is to recognize the signs that a dog may be acting aggressive or unusual. These warning signs can include:
An early indication that a dog is agitated or uncomfortable is yawning or raising and licking its lips. Typically, this indicates that a dog is uneasy with the situation and has become unsettled.
When a dog is about to bite, it usually emits a low growl that is followed by exposed or snapping teeth. This hostile behavior is a dog’s most direct way to show that it feels threatened in the situation and is uncomfortable with how it is being treated.
If you are around a dog that is growling, exposing or snapping its teeth, quickly identify what the dog is threatened by and remove it to make the dog feel less anxious.
Although a wagging tail can be a sign that the dog is happy or excited, it can also indicate that the dog is threatened or on edge.
A simple way to interpret a dog’s intentions when its tail is moving is to examine the other body movements it may be making.
The tail of a dog who feels agitated or threatened will be raised high and slowly wagging while the rest of its body is still and rigid. If a dog’s body is tense, it may be an indication that the dog is unhappy with its current situation.
A rigid body is a recognizable trait that dogs will display when they feel threatened. If a dog is anxious or on edge, it will stiffen its body and every muscle will become rigid. The dog will usually be standing square with its ears perked and tail raised, as if it were frozen. This can indicate the dog is preparing to attack.
Another indication that a dog may be preparing to bite is raised fur. When a dog feels threatened, the fur on its back or neck will often stand up, indicating the dog is uneasy with whatever is going on around it.
Normally, the white part of a dog’s eyes will be covered or hidden. This indicates that the dog is content and comfortable with its situation and the people interacting with it.
However, if you see the whites of a dog’s eyes, it may be a warning sign that the dog will attack. When a dog feels threatened, it will keep its eyes on the threat and maintain direct eye contact. This means regardless of where the dog moves its head, the eyes will always stay on the threat, causing the whites to be exposed.
If you are around a dog that is displaying hostile behavior, be cautious about how you approach or respond to it. You should interact with an aggressive dog by:
In the event that you are approached by a hostile dog, following these tips may help prevent the dog from attacking you:
It is extremely important to seek medical attention immediately after a dog bites you. According to the CDC, one in five dog bites become infected. To prevent a dog bite injury from causing further medical issues or becoming fatal, follow these steps:
The time following a dog bite is critical and you must act quickly to seek medical attention to treat your injury. Once a health care provider has examined and cared for your wound, do not hesitate to contact a skilled attorney to discuss the possibility of legal action against the owner.
Our skilled attorneys are well-versed in Arizona’s dog bite laws and will use our knowledge and experience to hold the owner liable for the damages you suffered. We are ready to provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to discuss the attack and determine if you may be owed compensation.
We work only on a contingency fee basis and do not charge upfront legal fees and other expenses. Our attorneys only require payment if we recover damages for your claim.
Call 1-800-706-3000 if you were bitten by an aggressive dog.
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