We just learned of a a Seneca County dog bite case, and as usual, the victim was a child. At Michaels & Smolak we take in several dog bite cases a year. While the injuries from dog bites are not usually life threatening, the scarring is often disfiguring and permanent. Especially with children, the bites tend to be in the face.
In this case, the child was only 3 years old, and was visiting an apartment with his parents. The dog looked friendly, so the parents let their guard down, and let their child get close. The dog lunged and bit the child in the face, causing a terrible gash in his nose, requiring 15 stitches. We are hoping for a good recovery. In a way he was lucky; the bite just missed the eye.
I am a runner and bicyclist, and have had my own run-ins with dogs. I have been bitten by dogs twice while running, and a dog caused me to fall off my bicycle once, too. Dog owners are supposed to keep their dogs on their property, but they don’t always do so, especially out in the countryside where I run and bike.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. Children are more likely to be bitten than adults.
Here are some safety tips I have learned from several sources for avoiding dog bites:
• Never leave young children alone with a dog.
• Avoid direct eye contact with dogs.
• Never get your face near the dog’s face.
• If you feel threatened by a dog, don’t run or scream; remain still.
• If you end up on the ground, roll into a ball and be still.
• Never disturb a dog while it is eating or sleeping or with its puppies.
• Allow a dog to sniff you before you pet it.
• Remain motionless when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
• If bitten, immediately report the bite to the owner and to the police or other local authorities to see if you need to get rabies shots.
If you have a significant injury, call a good dog bite lawyer soon. He can protect your rights to get fair compensation. To learn about how you prove a dog bite case, visit our website at the “general negligence” practice areas button.
And please be safe around dogs.