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Dog Bites – From Initial Attack to When to Call a Law Firm

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Do You Need a Lawyer? – Consult a Law Firm Experienced in Dog Bite Injuries

 
We love our furry friends. From the biggest dog, to the smallest hamster, keeping pets can be a great source of comfort and companionship for humans. But what happens when owners lose control and pets become a menace? Although they’re often called "man’s best friend”, some dogs can, in actuality, become threatened by and threatening to humans. Many dogs are docile and sweet, but an angry dog can be scary, to say the least. In 2010, 379 dog attacks were reported in the city of Toronto alone. Dealing with a dog bite is no laughing matter – dog bites can result in rabies and other kinds of infectious diseases. Here’s what to do if you or someone you know has been bitten by a dog, from the moment of the initial incident to when it’s time to call a law firm.
  1. First things first: get away from the dog. If possible, try to keep the animal contained, but be sure not to anger it further or risk personal injury while doing so.
  2. Don’t panic. Keep the wound elevated and attempt to rinse it with clean tap water. Try to wash away any dirt surrounding the bite, since dirt can lead to infection.
  3. If the skin has been punctured, make sure to get the dog bite victim to a medical professional as soon as possible.
  4. Know your rights. In Ontario, dog owners are held responsible for their pets’ actions, regardless of whether or not the dog was known to be previously aggressive. Find a law firm experienced in personal injury and schedule a consultation to find out whether you’re eligible for a settlement from the animal’s owner. Try to find a firm that employs trial lawyers specifically, in the case that the animal’s owner is not interested in settling. 
No matter how much we love them (and how many bacon-flavoured treats we give them!), it’s important to remember that dogs are animals and are therefore sometimes unpredictable. Just like humans, dogs can have bad days, and sometimes, their tempers can get the best of them. For the most part, dogs aren’t menacing creatures, but it is always wise to keep your wits about you when dealing with animals, especially if the animal doesn’t know you or your family.
 
Here are some tips to prevent an attack that has resulted in a dog bite:
  • Let sleeping dogs lie. The old adage exists for a reason: Don’t disturb a dog while it’s sleeping or eating, especially if you don’t know it.
  • Don’t approach strange dogs tied up in public places, especially if you suspect the dog might be a stray (if it is particularly mangy, for example, or doesn’t have a collar).
  • Think from the dog’s perspective. Don’t come at it aggressively – lower yourself down to its level and let it check you out before getting too close.  
  • Young children particularly may want to cuddle up to a dog, but make sure to never leave children alone with strange dogs. You never know when a dog may become angry or threatened and bite.

Dog Bites – From Initial Attack to When to Call a Law Firm

Finding a Law Firm Experienced in Dog Bite Injuries

 

Although many people can be considered “dog lovers”, it’s important to be aware that not all dogs are friendly. There are many dogs out there that are aggressive in nature, and a stranger’s hand coming down to pet them might be the act that sets them off. If you are injured after a dog bite incident, it is best practice to contact a law firm experienced in dog bite injuries.

 

Safety Tips to Practice Around Dogs

 

Toronto Animal Services has put together a list of dog safety tips to follow to help you prevent dog bites and injuries:

 

  • Children are usually the victims when it comes to dog bites. Make sure that you teach your child proper behavior around strange dogs and to treat them with respect.
  • Dogs should not be bothered when they are eating or sleeping.
  • Leaving a dog alone for long periods of time may cause them to become more aggressive.
  • Never put your face close to a dog that appears aggressive or strange.
  • If a dog is chasing you while riding a bike, get off your bike and make a wall between you and the dog.
  • Never try to break up a fight between two animals.
  • Call Toronto Animal Services when you see a stray dog and do not try to capture or approach them yourself.
  • Before petting any strange dog, ask permission.
  • Stand tall and don’t move when a dog you don’t know approaches you.

 

These tips to help you prevent the situation, but if a dog bite does occur, then you should contact Animal Services and a law firm experienced in dog bite injuries. This way, you will have the best advice as to how to move forward and receive compensation for your injuries.

 

Sources: https://www1.toronto.ca/City%20Of%20Toronto/Municipal%20Licensing%20&%20Standards/1-Files/what_to_do_when_dogs_bite.pdf

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