A dog attack could happen anywhere and at any time. It could happen when you’re taking a walk in your neighborhood or when you are jogging in the park. It could even happen when you are visiting a friend or a relative. The most important and probably the most difficult thing to do when a dog attacks is to stay calm. The manner in which you react to a dog attack can make the difference between a serious and minor injury.
Protect Yourself and Minimize Injuries
Here are a few tips from our Rhode Island dog bite lawyers that might help if you are faced with such a situation:
- Stay calm. If a dog approaches you, do not panic. It’s true that dogs and other animals can sense fear. If they see you are agitated, you may either make the dog feel more confident to attack you or you may appear threatening. Neither is a good situation for you. If you try to run away, most dogs will chase you. The best thing to do is to remain calm and still.
- Remain motionless. Stand completely still with your hands on your sides. If you ignore a dog, it might simply walk away. Don’t make eye contact. Stand sideways and keep the dog in your peripheral vision instead of facing it or making eye contact. This signals to the dog that you are not a threat.
- Try distracting the dog. If you have a backpack or water bottle, try and offer that to the dog as a distraction, giving you a chance to get away. If you routinely walk through areas known to have aggressive or dangerous dogs, it might be in your best interest to carry treats or chew toys that you can throw to these dogs so they go after them instead of you.
- Try to be commanding. If the dog continues to behave aggressively and none of the above strategies work, face the dog sternly and tell it to “back away” in a commanding voice. Continue to avoid making eye contact.
- Fight back. If the dog starts biting you and brutally attacking you, it is important that you defend yourself. Hit the dog on the throat, nose and back of the head. Dogs have thick skulls. So, there won’t be much of an impact if you hit them over the top of the head. Mace or pepper spray might also work as a good defense against an attacking dog.
- Protect your face, chest and throat. These are parts of your body that are vulnerable to serious injuries.
If You Have Been Injured
If you have been injured in the attack, it is important that you get prompt medical attention, treatment and care right away. Track down the dog’s owner. Report the incident to the local police or animal care agency. Take photographs of the accident scene and obtain contact information for anyone who may have witnessed the attack. Contact an experienced Rhode Island personal injury lawyer who will fight hard to protect your rights and help you secure compensation for losses such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of cosmetic surgery, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Call d’Oliveira & Associates at 1-800-992-6878 for a no-cost consultation and case evaluation.