Dog Bite Dangers – What To Do if Your Child is Attacked by a Dog
These things generally happen without much notice. Suddenly, a dog jumps a fence and heads straight for your child. You are not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 800,000 people suffer a dog bite yearly, severe enough to seek medical attention.
Half of these victims are children, particularly in the ages 5 to 9 group. More boys are attacked than girls. Lacerations, tears, broken bones, infections, and even death can result. Younger children are often bitten in the head and neck because of their height. Territorial issues, food aggression, or fear often precede a dog attack.
What To Do if Your Child is Attacked
Children should be told to stand still “like a tree” if an aggressive dog approaches. The child should turn away from the animal and pull in her arms. Most dogs will back off if they do not perceive a threat.
If the dog has attached it to your child’s body, leg, or arm, pry him off or spray mace or water. You can grab the dog’s tail or back legs and flip him on his back. Another move is to pull the dog by his back legs and hold him in the air. Most dogs will release a grip when this is done. A heavy shirt or blanket can be put over the dog’s head so he is disoriented.
The most important thing is to get the dog under control immediately. The owner should presumably have some safe place to put the dog so he doesn’t attack again.
Dog Bite Dangers – Treat the Injury
If the child is injured, bring them in for immediate medical treatment. Dog bites can be very serious, and if the face is attacked, a child can lose an eye or have his face mauled and disfigured, which will require plastic surgery.
- Have the doctor make a complete report, which will be used in your lawsuit against the owner.
- You will also want to determine if the child and the dog are up to date on vaccinations.
- You must file a report with animal control with as much detail as you can gather. This includes the time of the incident, who was present, and what happened. It’s important to know if there was any teasing of the dog or encouragement for him to jump the fence.
- Witnesses should be interviewed with their contact information for follow-up questions.
- If there are any videos or photos, these will become significant evidence. Was there a camera mounted on a pole or building? Did someone take a cellphone video?
Alabama Dog Bite Laws
- Allan Brown is a personal injury attorney who represents people injured by dogs that bite. He reminds you that the dog owner is liable for any injuries caused by the animal, especially if it happened on the owner’s property. The owner can also be held responsible if the dog gets loose and injures someone on their property.
It is not advised to approach the dog owner. You are not likely to have a productive discussion, which may result in a fight.
Your Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer
Attorney J. Allan Brown has dealt with these unfortunate incidents in the past. Alabama has adopted both a one-bite law and strict liability.
Under Alabama law, you can be compensated under the state’s dog bite statute. If this is the first time this dog has bitten someone, the owner will be liable for actual damages.
We may have to prove negligence, that the owner has violated animal control rules, or that the owner had some prior knowledge that their dog was dangerous.
Alabama recognizes the “one-bite” rule means that unless the dog has attacked someone in the past, the dog gets a pass on the first bite. If the dog has bitten before, the owner was automatically on notice. That owner is liable when we can prove that. Punitive damages may apply if the defendant deliberately engaged in malice.
There can be challenges in seeking compensation in an Alabama Dog bite case. Mr. Brown will seek fair compensation for your medical bills and any associated damages to your child, including plastic surgery, mental health, or physical therapy.
Call our Mobile office at (251) 473-6691 for a complimentary consultation.