Many of you won’t be surprised to find that California out-paces the rest of the country in dog bite encounters by a wide margin. In total, there were nearly 2,000 claims made against out of control dogs and their owners in 2013, costing insurance companies a whopping $64.7 million dollars. For some perspective, that is nearly double the amount found in the second worst location – New York City – which came in around 900 attacks. This accounts for one-third of liability claims and marks a 45% jump in the number of bites over the last decade, according to a recent LA Times article.
I’ve Been Bit – Now What?
It is important to note that a severe or even debilitating bite can be delivered by even the smallest of pooches. You don’t need a Great Dane or pit bull to inflict catastrophic damage. So, what may seem like a harmless tooth mark by your neighbor’s miniature poodle could actually have severe consequences for you or your loved one. Consider the following steps if you are ever bitten by a dog.
1) Get to a safe area: Removing yourself from the dog’s continued attack may seem obvious, but again – many people underestimate the severity of a small animal’s bite. Miniatures have just as much pounds-per-square-inch of jaw strength than most regular sized animals. They too can puncture, tear and break skin very quickly. So, keep your distance once you’ve been bitten.
2) Identify: Do your best to identify both the dog and the owner. Collect any and all information you can, such as address, insurance or phone number. If the owner is not present, attempt to get a photo of the dog or a strong mental image and the direction from which it came. Additionally, if possible, take photos of your wounds and the geographic location in which you were bit as soon as possible.
3) Medical Attention: This falls under the “don’t underestimate” category as well. Just because the wound looks small doesn’t mean it won’t create a serious health issue for you. Head to the emergency room immediately.
4) Contact the authorities: Call 911 or animal control to file a report. Preventing future attacks is the goal – and whether the dog has a history of violence or this is their first bite – it is important to get the incident on record. There can be any number of reasons the dog snapped at you, but unless police or the SPCA are aware of the incident, the dog could go on to repeat the behavior elsewhere.
Finally, if you have been bitten by a dog and are considering your legal options, do not hesitate to call the firm of Kahn Roven today. We’ve helped many people throughout the Southern California region recover the damages owed to them by negligent and reckless dog owners. Call today, (213) 738-0708.