Unfortunately, dog bites injure countless victims each year in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that about 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog each year and that about 350,000 of these victims are sent to the emergency room as a result. Although the number of related fatalities remains at a fairly low rate—about 30-35 each year—the consequences can still prove to be devastating, as children are most frequently targeted. A dog bite can have serious ramifications, including lifelong disfigurement and lasting medical conditions, so many are speaking up about ways to prevent these attacks.
A child may be more susceptible to a dog bite than an adult for many reasons. First of all, small children are usually unaware of the potential threat that a dog may pose. Upon trying to play with this seemingly lovable animal, a child may inadvertently trigger fear and/or excitement in the dog, causing it to become violent or defensive. Innocent behaviors on the part of a child—including staring a dog in the eyes and moving erratically or excitedly—can cause even the most well-behaved dog to revert to a primal state. Because of this, it is the responsibility of the owner to recognize a potentially dangerous situation and subsequently remove the dog from within the vicinity of the child.
Although precautionary measures should always be taken when a child is near, not all attacks can be prevented. It is never certain how a dog will react, but it is the responsibility of an owner to recognize any potential danger. If your child has sustained a serious dog bite at the hands of a negligent owner, you should not hesitate to speak to knowledgeable attorney. Even if the dog did not mean any harm, a careless owner may still be held liable. If they have failed to keep your child safe and an injury was sustained as a result, you may be entitled to compensation, so contact a legal professional from our firm today for more information about your case.