Reduce, Defending Against and Treating Dog Attacks


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Shepherd attacks man.
Shepherd attacks man at a dog show.

Joggers, cyclists, and others on foot are always at risk for a dog assault. Here below, attorney Michael Ehline explains how consumers can stay safe from dog mauling.

Table of Contents:

How Do You Reduce Risk of Dog Attack Injuries?

You need to learn how to lessen the risk of or thwart dog bites when confronted with a dog on the attack. Many people are bitten and mauled in the face, arms legs and hands by dangerous, growling, snarling dogs every year in the State of California. In California counties like Orange County, chop downs on an arm or leg can happen due to the close quarters of Goldenwest Street in Huntington Beach, or "Dog Beach." Some dog bites in Los Angeles just randomly occur while you are enjoying a walk on the boardwalk in Santa Monica. Then, out of the blue, an unleashed dog bites you.


Many of these dog attacks result in severe harm or mayhem to individuals and their children. And the physical and emotional scars may remain forever from these onslaughts. First, you need to understand there are many reasons dog attacks occur. But the risk of dog bites can be reduced with the right precautions.

Many cases like this end up in a law court with multiple parties fighting over who should pay you for your disfigurement, pain, and suffering. No one wins in the end. So education is the first step in having a hassle-free experience with man’s best friend, and descendant of wolves.

Don’t Encourage a Dog to Encounter You Viciously!

Number one, never taunt a dog, especially when it is chained up. Invading a leashed dog’s territory may be perceived as a threat, and be avoided altogether.

TIP: If the dog is lying down, you should always avoid approaching or bending over the animal.

Teasing or waking a tethered dog from slumber should also be avoided. DANGER!


To Prevent a Dog Mauling:

  • Keep your face away from the dog’s face.
  • Stay away from dogs you don’t know or recognize.
  • Never shock or surprise a dog.
  • Don’t leave your child unattended around dogs.
  • Never pass off aggressive behavior as “normal.”
  • Always let a dog sniff you before petting the dog.
  • Never dart toward a dog’s face.

What to do if you feel threatened or feel an attack is imminent:

  • Don’t scream, yell, or run from the canine as this can cause it to set upon you.
  • Avoid staring at the dog or extending your gaze into the animal’s eyes as this could make the animal take the offensive.
  • If knocked over by a large dog, assume the fetal position. After that, protect your head and neck.

What Else Can You Do After a Dog Bite?

There are vital steps to take after a canine bite. These steps must take place to ensure the health and protection of the victim's legal rights.

  • After being bitten by a dog, minor injury, or not, you must seek medical care. A severe infection could later make the damage a critical health issue.
  • If the dog bite is not a big deal, it remains crucial to find the canine's owner. Tell them their dog just bit you. Next, inquire about the dog's shots, especially rabies shots. In cases where the dog owner is unknown, animal control and the police may be able to locate the owner.
  • File a police report. That way, there is official documentation.
  • If a friend or relative owns the canine in question, a police report may not be necessary. But medical documentation will be crucial. Also, the injured party can go through the pet owner’s homeowner's insurance to recover damages. But this means dealing with an insurance company to obtain financial compensation. And this would be for medical and other expenses. So that could mean proving economic damages were suffered.
  • Seek the advice of a personal injury attorney. Get someone experienced in this area of the law. At a minimum, someone should evaluate your claim at the very least. That way, they can determine the best course of legal action. They are experts at obtaining financial compensation.
  • Do preserve clothing and any other evidence from the dog bite attack. Also, never launder the garment.
  • Do obtain witness names and contact information if the harm is not severe.

In addition to the above tips, you can go here to learn more about what you can do to prevent diseases after a dog attack.

What Not to Do During a Dog Attack.

After a canine attack, there are some things victims should avoid. In fact, some actions could result in harming their claim. And this means getting a lower settlement or no settlement.

  • When speaking to insurance company representatives of the pet owner, do not offer information. Answer the questions truthfully. But do not provide extra information. Any information you provide to the insurance company adjuster helps determine the settlement amount offered.
  • Do not admit fault in the incident. Consult an accomplished dog bite injury attorney. They can determine the amount of error or if you were not actually at fault in the episode. Admitting guilt to an insurance company adjuster can kill your case. Usually, the admission's result is an outright denial of liability or reduced settlement.
  • Do not delay consulting a dog bite attack lawyer. Avoid any delay, because a statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims remains. But there are other reasons to act quickly. These reasons include deterioration of evidence and fading of witness memories or problems locating people later on.

Dog Owner Tips and Suggestions.

If you own a dog, it is your responsibility as a prideful dog owner to make sure that your dog does not pose a danger or mauling threat to other individuals or their children.

Following these basic guidelines should help reduce your risk:

  • Spay or neuter your dog.
  • Avoid aggressive attack dog training, and rough-housing type plays with your dog.
  • Leash your dog at all times outside the home in an area your dog cannot grab hold of a passerby with its teeth or claws.
  • But especially around children, never leave your dog unattended. In any case, it can quickly overwhelm an innocent.
  • Do not allow your dog to roam freely and keep it in a fenced and gated yard.

If knocked for a loop, or masticated by a dog, get expert medical attention. Afterward, see a serious legal advocate and protect your rights. Ehline Law Firm has such lawyers at (213) 596-9642.

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