This week is officially National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which provides
an opportunity to reflect on a number of statistics involving dog bites,
dog attacks, and the rights of injured victims. National Dog Bite Prevention
Week is supported by a number of organizations that aim to decrease dog-related
injuries across the country. These include the American Humane Association,
which highlights the fact that dogs are more likely to be abandoned or
euthanized following an attack, United States postal workers, nearly 7,000
of whom were dog attack victims in 2016, and State Farm insurance.
With the involvement of State Farm, organizers are able to highlight the
real toll dog attacks can have on the lives of victims and the owners
of dogs. For instance, the insurance provider reports that it paid $121
million in insurance payouts related to dog attack and dog bite injuries
in 2016, the largest amount it has paid for dog-related injury claims
in company history.
As a Detroit personal injury law firm that has represented many victims of
dog bites throughout the years, our legal team at Goodman Acker P.C. has seen the
real and sometimes devastating costs dog bite injuries can have on the
lives of victims and their families. From medical expenses and lost income
from missing work to physical pain and suffering and the emotional toll
of recoveries that can take months or even lifetimes to heal, dog attacks
have significant consequences. They can also disrupt the lives of dog owners.
While insurance payouts for dog-related injuries may be on the rise, it
is difficult to say whether dog bites themselves are increasing. What
is known, however, is that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) estimates that roughly 4.5 million people suffer injuries as a result
of incidents involving dogs each year. What’s more, many of these
victims are children. This data may not capture the full scope of the
issue, as insurance providers commonly include non-dog bite injuries under
one classification. For example, a victim can suffer injuries when a dog
jumps on them, causing them to fall. Still, there are rising costs associated
with treating dog-related injuries, including the need for plastic surgery
to minimize impairment and scars resulting from bites.
As part of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, experts are calling attention
to the ways that dog attacks and dog bites can be prevented. Some of their
critical recommendations include:
- Training and socializing dogs can help make them become more comfortable
around people, including people they do not know.
- Keeping a dog on a leash when in public.
- Ensuring the safety of your property when a dog is allowed out around the home.
- Teaching children how to behave responsibly around dogs and read their
body language. Pulling on ears or tails, putting faces near a dog’s
face, or petting a dog without asking can place children at risk for injuries.
Even when proper precautions are taken by non-owners, dog bites can still
occur. This is especially true when owners fail in their duty to take
reasonable measures of securing their pets and keeping others safe from
preventable harm. Thankfully, victims do have rights following a dog attack
or dog bite, and our attorneys at Goodman Acker P.C. are prepared to leverage
over 75 years of experience to help victims and families navigate the
legal process toward the compensation they need and deserve.
If you have questions about a dog bite or dog-related injury, your rights
as a victim, and what our firm can do to help,
contact us today for a free consultation.