It is estimated that over 4 million US residents are bitten by a dog each year. Many of these dog bites victims are in California, where over 40% of households own at least one dog. Some of these bites are just surface level “scrapes” and thankfully, do not cause serious injury. However, many dog bite victims are not so lucky. Approximately 885,000 bites per year — almost one out of every 5 — are serious enough to require medical attention (according to the CDC).
So what do you do if you or a loved one is bitten by a dog that requires serious medical attention and carries long-term consequences? Contact an experienced dog bite lawyer in Woodland Hills to discuss your legal rights and potential for financial recovery.
Dog Safety Tips for Adults
With the prevalence of dogs in the San Fernando Valley, it is important to be familiar with certain dog safety tips for adults.
Say you’re running or walking through your neighborhood and a dog comes charging out from his front yard. Your first instinct may be to run faster, but by doing so, you may elicit a chase reflex within the dog. Instead, and depending on the situation, consider facing the dog and standing still, like a tree.
Many times, dogs do not have the intention of biting; rather the charge, bark and growl are a threat to get you to go away. If you stand still instead of continuing to move, they will likely bark and back away. You can also back away slowly in a relaxed manner. Once you’ve built up some distance, turn and continue on your planned route.
Other dogs run out towards a walker-by because it is a learned ‘success’. They’ve practiced barking at anything that passes and when those people continue to walk on, the dogs learns that barking and chasing work. In other words, the barking and chasing is a reflex.
In some instances, the dog may actually want to play with you, thinking this is a game of chase. With the dog in its hyper-excited state, if you yell or swing your arms around, it will likely get more excited and try to grab whatever is swinging around (in the same way they would grab a flailing squeaky toy). This is where standing completely still will be useful, as the dog may eventually lose interest.
What to Do When the Dog Knocks You Down
You may be too scared to stand still, which is completely understandable when a large dog is charging you. If the dog starts jumping up on you, the important thing to remember is to remain calm and turn your back to the dog so that the dog can’t get to your face. If the dog actually knocks you to the ground, roll up in a tight ball with your knees bent, your hands around the back of your neck, and your face tucked into your chest, and hold as still as possible.
Hopefully, you never have to experience the terror of being chased or attacked by a dog. If you have, and you were injured in the dog attack, contact experienced Woodland Hills dog bite lawyer Barry P. Goldberg and his team of legal professionals today.