Dogs are so popular in America that it is hard to determine exactly how many of them live here in the country. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, approximately 70-80 million dogs live in our nation’s households, holding positions from security guards to trusted companions to family members. Dogs in America have jobs, help the disabled, work with police forces and the military, and even patrol our nation’s airports. Yet though it may be hard to make it through a week without encountering a dog of some type or size, there is not a ton of attention paid to the negative parts of dog ownership.
Residents in the Phoenix area should be aware of the risks that come with being near a dog, even if they do not own one personally. Simply occupying a space near a dog can put an Arizona resident at risk for a dog bite incident or a dog attack, potentially leading to serious harm.
Often, the victims of animal attacks have done nothing wrong and have not provoked an animal, leading them to wonder why they were harmed when their conduct was legal. While nothing can undue the harm caused by these incidents, those who are injured do have rights under state and local laws so that they can ensure they are protected. Many victims can bring a personal injury claim in or out of a court of law to provide them with payment for their injuries, whatever they may be. Often, payment is available to help with the cost of medical, surgical, and reconstructive bills as well as lost wages, pain and suffering, inconvenience, and the loss of a normal life. Some victims may sustain permanent scarring which can be compensated through a claim as well.
So how common are dog bite incidents in the United States? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 4.5 million dog bites happen annually in the country and roughly one out of every five of those bites becomes infected. Children are the segment of the population most likely to be bitten by a dog with children aged five to nine facing the highest risk. Gender also plays a role in who is bitten as men face a significantly higher risk of being a victim than women do, though the reasons behind this are often debated. Some experts opine that dogs sense a natural threat in the presence of certain men, making the dogs more likely to bite. Others cite the fact that men are more likely to be physically aggressive with dogs and that dogs may respond with aggressiveness in turn in the form of biting.
Dog bites can be extremely painful and also very threatening to a victim’s health. Being bitten by a dog may expose a victim to a range of health concerns including rabies, MRSA, and tetanus, to name a few. Further, bites that become infected and are not treated immediately may lead to a spreading of the infection through a victim’s body, potentially leading to circulatory harm or even organ failure. With all that can go wrong, it is important to realize that dog bites are a threat and that they should always be addressed in a serious manner.
If you were the victim of a dog bite or dog attack in Phoenix or if someone you love was harmed by an animal, consider talking to a personal injury attorney to learn about your rights and options and to make sure you are protected from further harm.
Prior Blog Entry:
The Threat Posed by Head-On Collisions is Serious in Phoenix, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published September 27, 2016.
Preventing Dog Bites, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published May 18, 2015.
Three Questions Your Dog Bite Attorney Will Want to Ask You, Rhode Island Personal injury Attorney, published January 22, 2016.