National Dog Bite Prevention Week occurs April 9-15. This yearly observance focuses on the need for everyone to be aware of how to prevent dog bites. It is estimated that there are over 70 million dogs living in homes in the United States. More than 4.5 million people suffer bites from man’s best friend each year, and unfortunately, most victims are children. The cost for medical attention for a dog bite can be very costly. The good news is that it is possible to prevent most bites from ever occurring according to our Huntsville dog bite injury lawyers.
Don’t Become a Dog Bite Statistic
There are things you can do to reduce you or your family’s risk of injury from a dog bite:
- Never approach an unfamiliar dog.
- Don’t run from an unfamiliar dog; instead, remain motionless when approached by a strange dog.
- Remain calm and don’t attempt to scare the dog away with loud noises.
- If a dog attacks and knocks you over, curl into a ball, tuck your head and cover your ears and neck with your hands.
- Allow a dog to see and sniff you before petting it.
- Don’t disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping or taking care of puppies.
- Never allow small children to play unsupervised with a dog.
Encourage your children to follow these rules. Tell them that they should always let you or another adult know when a stray dog is around or if a dog is acting strangely.
If You or Your Child is Bit
After being bit, you’ll want to get to a safe place and immediately wash the wound. Seek immediate medical attention if you cannot control the bleeding or if the wound is serious. Contact local animal control or the police if the dog is a stray, acting sick or strange or if it can’t be confirmed if vaccinated for rabies. If you know who the dog’s owner is, contact them for proof that the dog has a current rabies vaccination.
Alabama’s Dog Bite Statute
Under Code of Alabama section 3.6.1, the owner of a dog can be held liable for damages if the dog bites any person while that person was on; or chased off the owner’s property; and didn’t provoke the dog to bite. If the dog’s owner is aware that the dog is vicious or dangerous and allows them to run loose; then he or she would be liable for any injuries if someone were bit.
Huntsville Dog Bite Injury Lawyers Can Help
Alabama’s dog bite statute is a “strict liability” law, but it can be confusing. It often puts the responsibility on a victim to prove that a dog’s owner was negligent.
If you or a family member is injured by a dog, the Huntsville dog bite injury lawyers at Pitman & Petro Attorneys at Law can help. Reach us 24/7 for a free consultation at (256) 533-5000.