Are Dog Bites More Common in the Summer?
Summer brings hot weather, longer days, and more outdoor events. All of these things might cause dog owners to take their pets on long walks in parks, beaches, and cities. While many dogs can handle increased social interaction, others might react violently, leading to serious dog bite injuries.
How Often Do Dog Bites Occur?
According to a recent study, 4.5 million dog bite injuries happen each year in the United States. A dog bite injury can become a financial burden for a family who has to pay for medical bills. It can also be an emotional burden if the bite leads to disfigurement and permanent scarring. Dog bite injury victims should contact a personal injury lawyer to help recover any losses.
Another study suggests that dog bite injuries often increase during warm months. There are a few reasons for this, including higher opportunities, rabies outbreaks, and children being out of school. Keeping these reasons in mind is important when spending time around dogs.
Why Do More Dog Bite Injuries Happen in the Summer?
Summer often brings more time spent outdoors. Both kids and adults alike tend to spend time outside, whether they are playing, cycling, or lounging. More time outside often leads to a higher exposure to dogs. Many dogs are playful and friendly, however, others react poorly to others. In certain situations, even friendly dogs might behave violently toward other people.
Another reason dog bites tend to occur in the summer is because of rabies outbreaks. This theory is not fully proven, however, many people believe that dogs contract rabies easier during the hottest months of the year. This belief stems from the fact that bats, and other rabies carriers, are more active during the summer months. Rabies is linked to aggressive behavior in animals, making dog bites extremely possible in the summer.
Finally, dog bites climb when kids are out of school for the summer. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that half of dog bite victims are children. This is likely due to their size. Children also tend to be rougher with animals, especially if they are young. Many dogs become more aggressive in these situations and lash out. Unfortunately, children tend to face serious injuries from dog bites. Parents should be cautious when their children are around dogs.
How Can I Prevent Dog Bite Injuries?
The best way to prevent a dog bite is to avoid petting strange dogs, even if they seem friendly. This is especially true if the dog is alone. Although it may seem like catching a lost dog is a good deed, it could lead to severe injury if the dog is violent. When the owner is there, it is important to ask them for permission before petting their dog. This is a crucial skill to teach children since many children blindly believe all dogs are friendly.
Reading body language helps to prevent dog bites. Most dogs display violent body language before biting someone. A person who is about to pet a dog should read the dog’s body language first.
Violent body language includes showing teeth, growling, and a stiff body. On the other hand, positive body language includes a wagging tail, a relaxed body, and panting. One should only pet a dog when it displays positive body language and if its owner gives permission.
Finally, parents should teach their children how to safely play with animals. Small children often have a hard time being gentle. They may fail to notice vicious dogs and animals. Parents should teach their children to avoid the dog’s tail, eyes, and teeth. They should not pull on their fur and should only pet gently. Even if children are aware of these things, it is crucial that parents still supervise time between pets and children.
Who is Considered Liable for My Dog Bite Injury?
Despite being cautious, not all dog bites are preventable. Victims of dog bites often face financial burdens related to these injuries. These burdens include medical bills, treatment, and lost wages. Therefore, a dog bite victim is encouraged to contact a personal injury lawyer to help recover damages related to the accident, including both economic and non-economic losses.
New Jersey’s laws have a strict liability statute for dog bite injuries. This statute means that a victim does not need to prove that the dog’s owner was negligent. It also means that the owner is considered liable, even if the dog never displayed any violent behavior before. Similarly, the owner is liable even if they tried to restrain the dog from attacking.
In states without a strict liability statute, the victim may have to prove that the owner was negligent. The victim must first prove that the dog’s owner had a duty of care that they breached. The victim must also prove that this breach ultimately led to the dog bite injury.
Is Speaking to a Lawyer Necessary After a Dog Bite Incident?
Dog bites can be devasting and traumatic. Some victims might even develop mental injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A victim should contact a personal injury lawyer to help prove liability and maximize entitled damages. This can help alleviate both financial and emotional burdens related to the injury.
Highland Park Personal Injury Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Victims Injured by Dangerous Dogs
If you or a loved was injured by a dog, you need to contact one of our experienced Highland Park personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr. Our lawyers understand that dog bite injuries cause emotional and financial burdens. We help victims obtain entitled compensation. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 732-537-8570. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.