When Man’s Best Friend Bites:

Kansas City Injury Attorneys Offer Information Regarding Dog Bites

People who love their dogs consider them part of their families, but sometimes our best friends can pose a real danger to others. The highest number of dangerous dog bite injuries occur with breeds that are aggressive; such as American Pit Bull Terriers, German Shepherds, and Rottweilers. Pitt Bull and Rottweiler dog owners may argue that these breeds are not inherently dangerous, but vicious dogs are instead the victims of improper dog handling or animal abuse. Victims of vicious dog bites are often scarred forever no matter the reason for the attack.

Dogs bite approximately 4.7 million people every year in the U.S. according to the American Humane Association. Of this number, 800,000 people are victims of dog bites causing severe enough injuries that they require medical care. The care for these victims equates to more than $1 billion in insurance claims each year. A 2009 report issued by www.DogsBite.org shows that “pit bulls accounted for 59% followed by Rottweilers with 14% (of deaths)” from the 88 deaths over a 3-year period.

As compassionate Kansas City personal injury attorneys, we have seen first hand the damage dog bites can cause. Not only do victims often suffer permanent scarring and emotional trauma, but some also die because of injuries sustained in an attack. This occurs more frequently with children. Both dog owners and those who may be potential victims can lower the risk of a dog bite happening.  It is possible to hold an owner legally responsible if their dog causes harm or injury to others even if she is not a dangerous breed.

Tips for being a responsible dog owner:

Check with your homeowner’s insurance company to make sure you are insured if your dog injures another!!!

Always keep your dog on a leash when outside.

If your dog lives outdoors, make sure it is kept in a secure area such as in a pen or behind a sturdy fence. People living in the Kansas City metro area in subdivisions or neighborhoods where there are many homes nearby of your own should never let your dog roam free.

If you do have a breed such as a pit bull or others are known to be aggressive, use a muzzle when in a public area to ensure no one gets bitten.

Proper socialization as a puppy is critical. Socializing your puppy removes much of the fear that causes aggressive behavior as an adult.

When all else fails, and you cannot control your dog’s bad behavior, seek out a reputable trainer who specializes in behavior issues.

As a dog owner, warn others if your dog has a vicious propensity to bite other animals or people. Also, keep them under tight control to avoid danger to others.

To help prevent becoming the victim of a dog bite, keep these tips in mind:

Never invade a dog’s personal space when it is eating or playing with its toy. Dogs are very protective of food and toys.

When you want to pet a dog you think is cute or that acts friendly, ask the owner before you attempt to approach the dog.

Letting a dog sniff your hand and calmly greeting her will help remove any fear the dog may have. Never approach a dog you are unfamiliar with in an aggressively or the dog may see you as a threat.

If you fear a dog is going to bite or attack you, do not run or shout.  Doing so may cause the dog to view you as prey increasing the risk of serious injury.

When playing with or petting a dog, keep a close eye on your children.

Ultimately, it is essential to treat strange dogs respectfully.

Importantly, if your dog bites or attacks someone, you can be held liable for costs associated with any injuries. Further, this may include past and future medical expenses, but lost income, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and more.

The attorney and staff at McCollum Injury Law Firm, LLC are dog owners and dog lovers.  Luka, a golden retriever, comes to the office and curls up in a corner almost every day. However, we also know the devastating and even fatal injuries they can sometimes inflict. If you are the victim of a dog bite, contact our Kansas City lawyer today for outstanding legal guidance and support. Before hiring a lawyer you may want to see our article about how to hire an injury lawyer.  We are an injury law firm located in Liberty, Missouri.  www.InjuryLawFirm.Lawyer