Dogs are one of the most popular pets in the United States, and it is easy to see why. They can be loyal companions, diligent workers and motivational workout partners.
However, dogs can also cause problems. Each year, about 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs. Many of those bite victims are children, and most dog-bite incidents occur at the victim’s home with a dog that the victim knows.
How common are serious dog bites in California?
Serious dog bites are a problem around the country. Unfortunately, the risk of being bitten by a dog may be higher in California than in other states. This is because California had more dog bite claims in 2019 than any other state.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), over 2,300 dog bite claims were filed in California in 2019. Florida had the second highest number of claims, with about 1,200 claims.
What to do if a dog injures someone?
If a dog bites you or your child, it is important to seek medical attention right away. Depending on the severity and location of the wounds, it may be necessary to seek emergency treatment.
While it might be possible to care for minor wounds at home, it is important to realize that dog bite wounds can be more severe than they appear. Minor-looking wounds can still involve damage to bones, muscles or tendons. Dog bite wounds can also become easily infected and can spread diseases from the animal.
In addition to seeking the proper medical treatment, it can also be valuable to collect important information as soon as possible. If time allows, consider documenting the following details:
- The name and contact information for the dog’s owner
- The name and contact information for witnesses
- The dog’s vaccination history
- The location of the incident
- An initial image of the wounds
Dogs may have many likeable qualities, but they can also cause significant harm. Pet owners have a responsibility to properly manage their animals to prevent the animals from harming others. When these duties are neglected, a dog bite victim may be able to hold the owner responsible.