Man’s Best Friend — or Foe?
Dogs have been our trusted allies for years — they have stood by the side of kings and soldiers, helped sniff out bombs and led blind people across streets, and made excellent and faithful pets for legions of families. However, dogs are still animals and as such are capable of attacking without warning. Florida victims of dog attacks and bites should contact a competent Tampa dog-bite attorney to discuss the legal rights and obligations that arise as the result of an attack.
Injuries From a Dog Bite
Dog bites most often cause simple lacerations, as the dog’s teeth pierce the skin of the victim. Occasionally, the bite may be deep enough to sever tendons or impact muscles, nerves, and/or bones. In the latter case, a trip to the doctor is recommended, as a medical professional can examine the wound and determine whether it will heal on its own or if surgery is necessary.
Whether or not a doctor is involved, be sure to clean any laceration following a dog bite. Cleaning the affected area can help lessen the chance for an infection. If the wound is deep, receiving sutures can help close the wound and prevent obvious scarring.
How to Avoid Dog Bite Injuries
It is important to be able to read a dog’s body language and understand its behaviors in order to avoid serious injury. When a dog is feeling threatened or aggressive, it tends to stiffen and growl or bark. Usually, its ears will be pinned back to the head as well. When faced with this situation, you should not run or make any sudden movements — simply walk slowly backwards without making direct eye contact with the animal.
There are also certain ways that you should treat a dog, especially one that is unfamiliar with you. Do not rapidly approach the dog; instead, let it come to you at its own pace. Offer your hands so that the dog can smell them and determine that no true threat exists.
Man’s best friend? Of course — but be careful. If an incident does occur, your best bet is to contact a Tampa personal injury attorney experienced in dog-bite cases. Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore would be happy to go over your options with you and decide collaboratively on the best course of action.