For a nation that loves their best friends so much, the sad truth is that they can sometimes turn on you or others. In 2019, approximately 4.5 million dog bites occurred in the United States and nearly 1 out of 5 bites became infected. In the previous year, 27,000 people had to have reconstructive surgery because of a dog bite.
We’re not going to stop loving our canine best friends, so the most important thing to do is to learn how to prevent dog bites.
Preventing dog bites in New York
Here are a few tips on preventing dog bites in New York that should safeguard you, your children, and others.
- If you don’t know the dog, don’t approach it. You can ask the owner if the dog is friendly and safe to pet. If they say it’s okay to pet their dog, let it first sniff your closed fist. Pet the neck or chest of the dog, but not the top of its head.
- Small dogs can bite too. Small dogs have teeth and their bite can hurt.
- Educate your children about how or whether to approach a dog and never leave small children unattended with one. Teach them that if they are attacked by a dog, they should roll up in a ball on the ground, with their knees tucked into their stomach. They should also interlock their fingers behind their neck to protect against ear and neck bites.
- Don’t run away from a stray dog, even though it is a human survival technique. For dogs, chasing is a survival technique too, and running away can get you bitten. Instead, let it sniff you. It will likely soon lose interest and walk away on its own.
- Don’t surprise a dog. Their instinct is to self-protect and that could mean biting.
- Socialize your dog and get it used to other dogs and people. It needs to learn that it doesn’t have to be in self-protect mode, or that it has to protect you and your family all the time.
- Don’t disturb a dog when it is occupied eating, playing, tending their pups, or sleeping. You never want to do anything that will make the dog react defensively.
- Never stare into the eyes of a dog as many take it as a sign of aggression.
- Know the signs for canine anxiety. They include licking and yawning.
As an aside to the above tips, you should always keep your dog’s vaccines up-to-date. In the unfortunate event that your dog bites someone, you want to be sure your dog is healthy and isn’t carrying any diseases like rabies.
New York dog bite laws can be complex
New York dog bite laws are not all that cut and dry. There are specific laws regarding liability in dog bite a case, adhering to what is known as the “One Bite Rule.” That means that a dog’s owner can’t be accused of being negligent if their dog never bit anyone before. However, the law also states that if you can prove that the dog was known to be vicious, it doesn’t matter that it never bit before.
There are other attributes to the law that make a dog bite personal injury case somewhat complex. That’s why you should contact us. We are experienced dog bite personal injury lawyers and we know the dog bite laws and what it takes to prove liability.
If you or a family member is the victim of a dog bite, please give us a call. We have a great deal of knowledge dealing with such incidents and would like to discuss your potential personal injury claim with you.
If you have any questions about this article or any other questions related to personal injury law, please call us toll free at 1-800-LAW-1333. Our personal injury consultations are always free.
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