Each year aggressive dogs bite over 500,000 people, killing an average of twelve. The majority of dog bite victims are children. Most dogs do not exhibit aggressive tendencies; nevertheless, sufficient provocation may tempt even the gentlest dog to bite.
If a dog bites you it is important to clean your wounds
. Additionally, you should seek medical attention and advice regarding rabies treatment. If you are not familiar with the dog or its owner, contact your local animal control board and report the incident. Animal control officers may be able to locate the dog and determine its rabies vaccination status.
Several factors, including the dog's prior behavior, the use of a "Bad Dog" warning sign, whether the dog was provoked, and the law of the particular city or county where the bite occurred, will be important in determining the dog owner's legal liability. Some states impose liability only if the dog owner knew or should have known that his dog is aggressive. In these states, the first bite is said to be "free." That is, since the dog has not bitten before, the owner has no knowledge of the dog's tendency to do so. Other states impose liability regardless of the owner's knowledge. In these states simply owning a dog is sufficient for legal liability.
See your doctor if you have been seriously injured by a dog or other animal. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney
who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits
within which you must commence suit.
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