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Although we hope this never happens to you, it is important to know how to keep yourself safe in the event that you are attacked by a dog.  This is crucial, especially since dogs bite almost 5 million Americans a year, and almost a million of those people seek medical treatment.  In fact, almost 400,000 of those victims have such bad injuries that they require immediate attention in the emergency room.  


So, how can you avoid being attacked by a dog? Take a look at the following tips:

  • Don't pet or approach a strange dog without obtaining specific permission from its owner.  
  • Use your nonverbal body language to your advantage.  Don't look a dog directly in the eye, and don't run away from a dog.  This may engage their instinctual drives and make them want to chase you!  If you must get away, back away slowly.  
  • If a dog approaches you unexpectedly, stand still.  
  • Don't get between a dog that is eating, sleeping, or watching over its puppies.  
  • If a dog is being aggressive towards you, don't shout at them.  Use a strong, calm voice. You can also give a dog something else to focus on, such as a jacket, branch, or other object to bite.
  • If it does get to the point that you are attacked, roll into a ball, cover your head and face with your hands, and stay still.   


If the bite is serious enough, you may require medical attention.  You may also wish to get tested for rabies and other diseases that dogs may carry.  If the dog appears to be a tray, you should call the local animal control center and let them know about the situation. 


If you know the dog or the dog appears to be owned by someone, it is important for you to know that you have legal rights.  Dog owners have the responsibility to keep their dogs safe, contained, and not a risk to others.  If you are bitten by a dog and are seeking legal counsel, your claim for damages based on your injuries or disfigurement will be based on a theory of negligence, and will be very complex.  You need an attorney that has experience in handling the difficulties of these types of claims.   Our law firm will review the facts and analyze the law to provide you with a thorough evaluation of your claims. 


If you or a loved one suffered an injury or disfigurement from a dog bite, please do not hesitate to contact the law office of Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr.  Attorney Doug Stoehr has experience in handling dog bite cases, and will thoroughly evaluate your claim.   Call us today at (814) 946-4100 for a free initial consultation.  

Thanks to Live Science for the background information.

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