While dog owners can experience a variety of health benefits from having a dog, like reduced stress and increased exercise opportunities, situations where a dog acts aggressively can quickly get out of hand. Even the nicest of dogs can reach a point where it decides to attack another person or animal. If you’ve been victim to an animal attack, our Louisville dog bite lawyers can provide the support and guidance you need during this difficult time.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 36 percent of households in the United States own a dog. Because dogs are so common, attacks occur often. Just in February of 2018, a man in Owensboro, KY died while trying to break up a fight between his dog and another family dog. If a loved one has suffered a wrongful death as a result of an animal attack, we can guide you through that legal process as well.
If you’re looking to take legal action after being bit by a dog, you’ll benefit from have some background knowledge on dog attacks, as well as an understanding of the dog bite laws in Kentucky. Let’s take a look at some of that information.
Why Dogs Attack
There are a number of reasons a dog might choose to attack a person or other animal. Many of these reasons can be associated with the dog’s upbringing and natural temperament. Here are some of the most common reasons a dog might become physically aggressive:
Human Negligence. Unfortunately, not everyone who owns a dog should have a dog. Some owners resort to extreme punishments in the event the dog does something disagreeable. When this happens it’s likely the animal will learn to be defensive, especially if they are feeling cornered.
Lack of Socialization. Responsible dog owners know it’s crucial to socialize their canine regularly. This is especially true in the first three months of life, in order to prevent behavioral issues later, like fear, aggression, or avoidance. While this can be more difficult with an adopted, older dog or a rescue, it’s still important to ensure your dog knows how to act around people and animals.
Fear. Whether a dog is feeling fear as a result of how they’ve been treated or because of the situation they are in, a scared animal is likely to attack whatever obstacle they identify as a way of protecting themselves. Dogs may lash out at a human they feel uncomfortable or threatened around.
Medical Issues. If a dog is in pain or has a chronic medical condition, they may be more likely to act out aggressively because of a lower threshold for reactivity.
Guard or Protection Training. Some owners choose to train their dogs to be on guard or to protect the house and family, as opposed to a dog who is strictly a companion. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as many dog breeds have natural abilities that lend themselves well with this type of upbringing, it can get out of hand if the owner does not properly manage the dog. The animal could end up attacking someone or something accidentally because it failed recognize there wasn’t a threat.
The Dangers Associated With Dog Bites
According to the CDC, nearly 20 percent of dog bite victims require medical attention. This is because, in addition to being painful, bites can quickly become infected – which puts the person at risk for illness or even death.
Dog bites are so susceptible to infection because there are over 60 kinds of bacteria in dog mouths. The following are the most common diseases that can result from a bite that is not properly treated:
- Capnocytophaga bacteria
Children, between the ages of five and nine, are more likely to be bitten by an animal than any other age group. This is because children may not understand how to act around dogs, or may be put in a situation that does not benefit them or the animal. Children are also more likely to need medical attention after a dog bite because they’re more likely to sustain a serious injury.
Dog Bite Laws in Kentucky
Section 258.235 of Kentucky Revised Statutes outlines the laws attached to dog bites. In regard to animal attacks, Kentucky is a strict liability state. This means that the dog’s owner is responsible for all the damage caused to a person, animal, or property by their pet. The statute also states that any person may kill or seize any dog that is attacking a person. After an attack, any dog that has exhibited violent behaviors toward someone or something is declared to be dangerous and has to be kept away from people.
For more information on Kentucky’s dog bite laws, take a look at this blog.
Get Help with Sensitive Legal Matters from a Dog Bite Attorney in Louisville
At Thomas Law Offices, we understand how sensitive of a matter dog bites can be, especially if you or a loved one was bitten by a family or friend’s animal. No matter the relationship you have to the dog’s owner, it’s important that you are taken care of after being attacked.
It’s likely you’ll have medical expenses and unpaid time off work to deal with. We can get you the compensation you need and deserve, so you can restore order to your life as quickly as possible. To learn more about the legal process or for a review initial consultation, contact our office.