Children are often fascinated by dogs, but they may not know how to approach a dog, safely, or how to tell when a dog is behaving in an aggressive or frightened manner. On seeing a dog, a child may act suddenly or loudly, out of excitement, or may approach it in an aggressive manner, making the dog feel threatened and likely to bite. In other cases, the dog may simply be aggressive, and simply approaching it is liable to result in injury to the child. In Atlanta, Georgia, if your child is bitten by a dog, you can file a personal injury claim against the dog owner. However, dog owners and parents can prevent such incidents by avoiding dog bites, altogether.
How Can You Protect Your Child From Getting Bitten by a Dog?
As a parent, you can teach your children a few ground rules on when and how to approach a dog. Following are a few key tips for parents to prevent dog bite injuries to children:
- Explain to your child that dogs have emotions, and not all dogs are safe and friendly. Teach them how an anxious, agitated, scared, or aggressive dog might behave.
- Teach your child to always ask for permission to pet the dog from the owner, and how to approach the dog if the owner allows it. Letting the dog sniff the back of your closed hand before attempting to pet it can let the dog know that you are not dangerous.
- Show them how to speak softly, move slowly, and not make sudden movements while approaching a dog for the first time or if they are ever near an aggressive dog. Running could cause the dog to chase, and panicking could lead to harm.
- Teach your child to remain calm and avoid eye contact with any dog who seems to be aggressive or likely to attack. Teach them how to back away slowly and avoid further agitating a dog who is already uncomfortable or aggressive.
- If your child is too young to understand these teachings, do not let him or her go anywhere near an unfamiliar dog without adult supervision.
How Can You Protect Children from Being Bitten By Your Dog?
As a dog owner, it is up to you to teach your dog to behave. You will be held liable for any injuries that your dog may cause. As a dog owner in Atlanta, Georgia, there are a few things that you can do to prevent your dog from causing any injuries to children:
- If your dog has any behavioral problems, keep the pet on a leash or within a fenced boundary at all times.
- Train your dog, with positive reinforcement for good behavior and/or with a professional dog trainer.
- Teach your dog not to jump up on people.
- Do not be violent with your dog. Violence will only cause more behavioral problems.
- If a child asks for permission to pet your dog, do not allow them to do so unless you are absolutely sure that your dog won’t harm them.
What To Do If Your Child is Bitten by a Dog in Atlanta, Georgia
Dog bites can be quite dangerous and traumatizing. The injuries caused by dog bites can range from mild to severe, and in some cases, may also cause diseases. This can happen if the dog has not been properly vaccinated or if the injury becomes infected. Even though you may take every necessary precaution and teach your child all the ground rules of approaching a dog, your child can still be bitten. The injuries can be especially terrible for smaller children.
Atlanta, Georgia does not follow the strict liability rule for dog bites. Rather, dogs are presumed to be harmless, unless there is evidence otherwise, and the one bite rule is applicable to dog bite cases. This means that the dog can bite someone one time, without the owner being considered to be negligent. If you are filing a personal injury claim for a dog bite, you bear the burden of proving that the dog was dangerous, and that the owner acted negligently in allowing the dog to bite someone, knowing the dog was dangerous.
To show negligence, you must first establish that the dog is vicious or dangerous, and the owner was aware of the dog’s tendencies to be aggressive. You must then show that the owner did not take the necessary precautions to prevent the dog from biting. If the dog has never previously bitten a person, it could be difficult to prove that the dog is known to be dangerous.
However, if your child was bitten in an area where all dogs are required to be on a leash, but the dog in question was let loose, then you can hold the owner liable, even though the dog may not have bitten anyone before or shown signs of being dangerous.
Ted A. Greve & Associates Can Help With Your Dog Bite Personal Injury Claim
If the injury that your child sustained wasn’t too serious, and a band-aid or two can take care of it, then you probably won’t need to file a personal injury claim. If the injuries are more serious, the resulting medical expenses and trauma of the incident could be far more than you might imagine. In such cases, you might want to file a personal injury claim.
In Atlanta, Georgia, holding a dog owner liable for a dog bite sustained by your child can be somewhat difficult. There are several things to consider before filing a claim, and the dog owner could have various defenses. This is where it becomes necessary to have a skilled Atlanta, Georgia personal injury attorney on your side. The attorneys at Ted A. Greve & Associates will help you to collect, analyze, and present all of the required evidence to support your claim.