Dog Bite FAQs

Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend, yet every year almost five million people are bitten by dogs. Here are some commonly asked questions about dog attacks and dog bites.

Where Do Most Dog Bite Attacks Take Place?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, most fatal dog bite attacks take place on the dog owner’s property. However, dog attacks may happen anywhere that dogs are found. Dogs may bite when they are on a leash, or if they are running free. Always be cautious around any unfamiliar dog.

Why Do Some Dogs Bite?

Poorly socialized dogs may bite because they do not respect humans. Abused dogs may bite because they fear humans. However, even friendly well-adjusted dogs may bite. Dogs will bite if they feel threatened or if their territory is invaded. Dog bite injuries may also happen if a dog is used to playing roughly with humans (wrestling).

What Are My Legal Rights if I Have Been Bitten?

Your legal rights as a dog bite victim will vary state by state. Depending on the state’s view on owner liability, you may be entitled to compensation. A dog bite lawyer practicing in your state will be the best person to answer your question.

How Can I Lessen My Injuries if a Dog Attacks Me?

There are several things that you can do to lessen your chance of injury if you are attacked by a dog. The Humane Society of the United States recommends distracting the dog with your jacket or some other object. If you are brought to the ground, curl up and protect your ears with your hands. Don’t scream or yell. Loud noises excite dogs and may cause them to attack more violently.

What Do I Do if a Dog Bites Me?

If you have been bitten by a dog, clean the wounds with warm soapy water. Take pictures of your injuries for documentation purposes. Consult with a physician about additional care or precautions for your injuries. Report the dog attack to your local animal control agency in order to help protect the public. Contact a dog bite lawyer to discover your legal options for compensation.