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Warning Signs Of When A Dog May Bite

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the U.S. Half of the bites occur on children between the ages of 5 and 9. It is estimated that one in five dog bite victims need professional medical care.

In order to interact safely with dogs, it is important to know how and when to approach them and to know the general safety tips regarding interaction with dogs:

  • Never approach a dog that is sleeping, eating, chewing on a toy, or caring for puppies.
  • Never pet someone else’s dog without asking first.
  • Always approach dogs, even your own, cautiously. Make sure they see you and let them sniff your hand before trying to pet them.
  • Never leave small children unattended with a dog.
  • Do not encourage aggressive play with your dog.
  • Be aware of dog warning signs on personal property.

Paying attention to dogs’ body language and taking precautions is important because the State of Michigan has a “strict liability” statute which holds the dog owner responsible for the injuries to the victim, as long as the attack was unprovoked. In order to lower your risk of threatening or provoking dogs you come into contact with, be aware of the body language signals that show a dog is uncomfortable:

  • stiff tail
  • tensed body
  • pulled back head and/or ears
  • furrowed brow
  • eyes rolled so the whites are visible
  • flicking tongue
  • intense stare
  • backing away
  • growling and showing teeth

If you come into contact with a dog that is showing signs of attacking, follow these steps:

  • Do not scream or panic.
  • Do not turn your back on the dog or run away.
  • Stay motionless and do not move your limbs.
  • Avoid making eye contact with the dog.
  • Slowly back away once the dog loses interest in you.
  • If the dog approaches you, give it your jacket or other items to prevent bites to your body.

It is important to follow the steps above because doing so can help prevent a dog bite from occurring. If you took the following steps and did not provoke a dog, but still got bitten, the dog owner will be liable for the dog’s behavior. Due to the fact that many dog bites occur by dogs that people know—such as a neighbor’s dog—many people do not seek medical attention and compensation for their injuries out of fear of damaging their friendship or personal relationship with the dog’s owner. What many people don’t know is that homeowner’s insurance usually will cover the monetary damages and medical costs associated with a dog bite.

If you, or someone you know, has been a victim of a dog bite, it is important to seek medical care. The medical costs associated with a dog bite can be expensive; filing a lawsuit can get you compensation for your injuries and reimbursement for your medical care. Each dog bite case is unique and therefore it is important to talk to a top notch legal team who has years of experience handling these type of claims.

At Goodman Acker P.C., we’ve been serving dog bite victims for over 30 years, and will work to get you the compensation you deserve. Call today for a free, no-obligation review of your case. Our Detroit dog bite lawyers will listen to your case, answer any questions that you may have, explain the legal process to you and determine what rights you are entitled to as a victim. Call now to get the help you need and deserve!