Pet owners, while legally responsible for the behavior of their dogs, unfortunately can’t predict if or when their pet may attack someone. Dogs bite an estimated 800,000 people annually, with children being high on the list of victims. This can lead to expensive medical bills when medical attention is required.
In most cases involving an attack, the dog’s owner will be found liable and also be required to pay for any injury that occurs, including any scarring and disfigurement. They are often sued for pain and suffering as well, and this makes the need for dog bite insurance an absolute must.
Most states have statutes that make it difficult for dog owners to avoid liability for injuries resulting in a lawsuit. Even a person harboring a dog that bites someone, often referred to as a boarder or keeper, may also be held responsible.
Dog bite prevention tactics
Because dog bites can result in serious injury, owners really need to invest time and money so that their pets are properly trained in an effort to try to prevent an unwarranted attack.
Positive reinforcement is perhaps one of the better methods of training that rewards good behavior, rather than punishing inappropriate behavior. Punishment can however be a useful form of training for certain breeds.
A professional dog trainer understands that when a dog growls they’re signaling that they’re uncomfortable with a particular person or in some situations. The trainer can help a dog owner in managing their dog’s aggression which helps ensure the safety of those coming into contact with the animal.
Common dog bite injuries that can lead to litigation
The owner’s liability will often be determined based on their knowledge of the dog’s tendency towards aggression. This includes knowing the tendencies of some breeds, training techniques applied, and any prior knowledge of aggressive behavior. The most common injuries associated with dog bites are skin lacerations, puncture wounds, and crushed or broken bones.
This can lead to infections from rabies and other diseases the dog may carry, loss of tissue, nerve damage that could result from a bite to the face or limbs, and emotional scarring.
Scarring may require plastic surgery, which will likely be expensive to fix or correct, which is why dog bite insurance is vital to anyone who owns a pet.