Slip and Falls in Louisiana

Slip and Fall in Louisiana

In Louisiana, Rain can Make it Easier for You to Slip and Fall if Property Owners Don’t Maintain their Businesses

It rains in Louisiana year-round and while the rain keeps the sugar cane growing, it can sometimes result in injuries for you or someone you know.

Remember to take extra precaution during rainy days and know what you and property owners are responsible for when it’s raining. Caution is required from both sides or slip and fall injuries may be the result.

How Rainy Days Create the Perfect Storm for Slip and Fall Injuries

Frequent rainfall can lead to dangerous walking conditions in Louisiana. Your normal day at the grocery store could lead to an injury if you are not cautious and the store doesn’t take appropriate precautions.

1_01-slipandfall-rainWith Louisiana being prone to flooding and water build up in low areas, it is important to watch your step when walking outside. Potholes, uneven stairs, and cracked sidewalks can all be hidden or forgotten when it’s raining. Remember to tread carefully when it’s raining to avoid an accident.

Walking indoors can be just as dangerous. Water is tracked into stores and businesses regularly during downpours. With wet shoes and dripping umbrellas, floors can easily become a hazard. Be careful when walking on slippery, wet floors.

Responsibility to Prevent a Slip and Fall Accident

Avoiding a slip and fall accident is a joint effort from both you and the owner of the property you are on.

You have a responsibility to avoid obvious dangers that can put you at risk for injury. For example, if you see that a floor is wet, you cannot purposely walk through the wet area and expect it to be the property owner’s fault when you are injured. If you see a wet floor and decide to walk through it then you accept the risks and outcomes that may occur as a result of your decision. You must act as a reasonable, prudent person and avoid putting yourself at risk.

Steps for preventing slip and fall accidentsA property owner’s responsibility comes in when addressing the maintenance of the property. Landowners are expected to keep their property in good shape and to fix problems that could cause injuries. Stores and restaurants should also take active measures to protect their patrons from falling on a wet or slippery surface.

Louisiana law on this subject states that a property owner is responsible for damage caused by his or her property if it is a result of neglect. If the owner of a property knows or should have known about a broken step or loose handrail and refused to fix it, then they will likely be responsible for any resulting injuries.

During the rainy Louisiana days, remember to be extra careful when walking so you avoid a slip and fall accident. If you do slip and fall and believe the property owner is at fault, call Scott T. Gegenheimer. He will help you get the compensation you need to heal from your injuries.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

Your Dog Bite Claim Timeline

Filing a Claim for a Dog Bite

Your Dog Bite Claim Timeline

A dog bite can lead to a confusion of events and processes. Understanding the process for a dog bite claim will help you better navigate through your injury. Know what to do within certain amounts of time to help secure your compensation for any injuries you received during the attack.

Immediately After the Dog Bite

seek medical attention before pursuing a dog bite claimDirectly after a dog attacks, you should obtain medical treatment and notify authorities. Contact both animal control and your local police force and report the dog attack.

Seeking medical treatment will not only ensure your health, but also create a professional record of the attack that occurred. Reporting the attack to the local authorities will help minimize the risk of the dog attacking someone else. If the owner of the dog is unknown at the time, the report will also ensure the dog is secured for owner identification.

48 Hours After the Dog Bite

After you are medically stabilized, the doctor can create a preliminary medical report of your injuries, which will include the extent of your injuries and the cost related. At this point, you will need to contact a dog bite attorney, such as Scott T. Gegenheimer, who will assist you in pursuing a claim against the owner of the responsible dog.

Louisiana, being a strict liability state, places responsibility of the dog’s actions on the owner, regardless of past behavior. Barring that you did not provoke the dog by trespassing on private property or with animal cruelty, you are entitled to compensation.

Within 1 Week of the Dog Bite

Your attorney will send notification of the claim to the owner of the dog. This notification allows the dog owner time to seek representation and respond to the complaint. Normally, the dog owner will have 15 days to file an answer.

Within 4 Weeks of the Dog Bite

The continuation of the process will depend on the dog owner’s answer to your complaint. If the dog owner chooses to settle the claim outside of court then your attorney will help you receive the compensation you need based on your injuries and future treatment requirements.

If the dog owner decides to take the claim to trial then you and your attorney will compile evidence of the attack. You and your attorney will gather your medical records and police reports, contact any eyewitnesses, request depositions, and gather any additional evidence.

Scheduling a Trial

1_01-FilingaClaim_statecapitolYour attorney will proceed to continue the process of the claim by scheduling a court date. As availability differs based on the number of current claims, your court date and length of the trial will vary.

When the trial concludes, you will be awarded your monetary compensation or the dog owner will be found not at fault. If you wish to challenge the court on the ruling, you may file an appeal.

A Reminder for Dog Bite Injuries

Louisiana allows you to file a personal injury claim for one year after the incident. It is best to file the claim as soon as possible in order to preserve evidence and get the compensation you need for your injuries. You also do not have to wait to file a claim until you are finished receiving treatment.

Filing a dog bite claim quickly and getting assistance from a personal injury attorney will help ensure you are compensated for your injuries. Call Scott T. Gegenheimer today for assistance in your dog bite incident.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

 

Dog Leash Laws of Louisiana

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On a typical day, it is rare to see dogs running down the street unsupervised and at large. While we do encounter a stray or come across our neighbor’s dog that escaped a fenced yard every once in a while, we normally walk freely down the street with few encounters with unleashed dogs. This is largely due to the laws most states, including Louisiana, have in place that prohibit dogs from being out in public without restraint.

Louisiana Leash Laws Protect You and Your Property

Louisiana Leash Law

The State of Louisiana has very specific laws for the protection of its citizens. It is expected that dogs and cats, as well as other domestic animals, will be restrained in some way. Specifically for dogs, dog at largethe Louisiana law states, “No person shall suffer or permit any dog in his possession, or kept by him about his premises, to run at large on any unenclosed land, or trespass upon any enclosed or unenclosed lands of another.” This means that an owner of a dog cannot at any time, legally allow his or her dog to run freely across your property.

Individual cities require further standards and define what is needed for owners to maintain dogs in their possession. Baton Rouge’s Code of Ordinances defines an “at-large” animal to be any dog that is not on the owner’s property or on a leash less than six feet long.. Other cities and parishes require different criteria for the restraint of animals. Be sure to check your parish’s laws.

What Happens if a Dog is at Large

While there are laws put in place that help prevent dog owners from allowing their pets to run freely, it frequently occurs. When dogs escape their owner’s notice, you may encounter a difficult and sometimes dangerous situation, with an unrestrained dog. Louisiana’s State Legislature has put statutes into place that protect you. One such statute states that any citizen or officer may seize a dog that is trespassing on a public or private property when not accompanied by its owner. Citizens and officers may also protect themselves from vicious dogs under this statute without the risk of being liable for damages done to the animal. These statutes protect you and your right to defend yourself and your property from dogs at large.

Baton Rouge Parish has enacted ordinances to protect citizens and their property from dogs that are roaming unsupervised. One ordinance states that the owner of any dog roaming at large is dogs must be on leashesresponsible for actions and damages caused by the animal. The damages and actions could include threatening, biting, or attacking citizens or other animals on the public or private property. We can help locate ordinances in your city or town.

Knowing the leash laws in Louisiana and your parish will help you better understand your rights when it comes to dogs roaming your neighborhoods. Call Scott T. Gegenheimer when you are unsure of your rights or what you are entitled to when a dog attacks you, your pet, or trespasses on your property.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

Common Slip and Fall Causes

Slip and Fall Causes

It happens to everyone, we trip on a foreign substance or slip on a wet floor, and most of the time we recover with nothing more than embarrassment or a small bump. Sometimes however, the trip or slip and fall causes us to receive injuries far worse than a minor bump. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 800,000 people a year end up hospitalized because of a fall injury. Often, slip and fall incidents stem from similar causes and may even have been avoided if the proper maintenance was followed.

The Common Slip and Fall Causes

Building Code Violations

Homes and company buildings must meet specific code requirements to be considered safe for people to use. A common cause of a trip and fall accident is a staircase not meeting regulations in height standards. The International Council Code states that the optimum height increase for stairs is between four and seven inches, any more or less can result in an injury due to unusual heights. The stair treads and risers should also be the same.

Other surfaces within a building, such as uneven or loose flooring, may also cause you to slip and fall. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, requires ground surfaces, including floors, to be stable, firm, and slip-resistant in residential property. The United States Department of Labor keeps work areas safe with regulation 1910.22(a)(3) stating, “Walking-working surfaces are maintained free of hazards such as sharp or protruding objects, loose boards, corrosion, leaks, spills, snow, and ice.”

1-01-SlipandFall_RootsLiftingSidewalkUnsafe Walking Areas

Property owners have a responsibility to maintain their property both inside and out. Doorways, hallways, sidewalks, and lawns need to be taken care of in order to prevent a dangerous situation to others. As stated in the United States Department of Labor regulation, walkways and store aisles need to be kept free of hazards. Weather conditions are not an acceptable excuse for dangerous walkways. Property owners who fail to make surfaces safe increase the risk of causing an injury to someone on their property. Property owners must create slip-resistant surfaces while it’s raining to prevent slips and falls.

Another aspect of keeping safe walking areas safe is proper lighting. Without enough light in an area, people have little chance to spot dangers or even choose to avoid dangers such as holes, uneven surfaces, or obstacles. While the requirement changes for different areas, the USDOL demands that workspaces such as offices have a minimum of 30 lumens per square foot. One lumen is the amount of a light a single candle gives to a one-foot square that is one foot away.

Rain can cause unsafe walking conditions. Other Causes

You may also find more unusual instances to be the cause of a slip and fall accident. Elevators not aligning with their designated floors or tree roots lifting sidewalks may cause someone to trip and receive a painful injury. In these instances, if the owner of the property failed to warn you of the potential hazard or should have known about the unsafe condition and failed to fix the problem, then they could be responsible for your injury.

When a slip and fall accident is caused by one of these more common reasons, it is likely you are not at fault and could receive compensation for your injury. If you slip and fall because of uneven stairs or walkways, slippery surfaces due to weather conditions, poor lighting, or a more unusual reason, you may not have to pay for your injury yourself. Call Scott T. Gegenheimer today if you were injured during a slip and fall accident for a free consultation.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

Dog Attack Treatments and Compensation

Dog Attack Treatments and Compensation

Dogs can cause lasting, physical and emotional damage when they bite. Some attack injuries require specialized dog attack treatment or long-term treatment that is costly and demanding. When a dog attacks, it is important to know what kind of treatment you may receive and also what you can be compensated for so you are not left paying for the costs out of pocket.

Dog Attack Treatments Range in Price and Time Length

Standard Treatments

When a dog attacks you, certain precautions are taken by all physicians to prevent further complications. The wound will be cleaned to remove all debris and sterilized to prevent infection. You may dog attackalso receive an antibiotic to help prevent infection and fever. If the dog cannot be identified or the owner does not have verification of shot records, then you could be subject to a rabies treatment as well. This treatment includes six shots over a course of about 30 days and must be started early. Your physician will also administer any treatments including stitches, other vaccinations, and bandaging to help the wound heal and prevent further problems.

The American Academy of Family Physicians has stated that those who already have the following health conditions run a higher risk of infection when a dog bites them.

  • Chronic disease
  • Chronic edema
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Immunosuppression
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Previous mastectomy
  • Prosthetic valve or joint
  • Splenectomy
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

Specialized Treatments

Some dog attacks result in more serious injuries that require specialized treatments. Disfigurement, scarring, broken bones, and torn muscles among other physical injuries can cause a dog bite vtreatment for a dog attackictim to undergo long-term treatment. Those attacked may have to consider reconstructive or orthopedic surgery and physical therapy to regain full function of their muscles and features.

Victims of dog attacks could also suffer psychological problems, which could affect their feelings for dogs for years to come. In this case, the person who was attacked would most likely need to seek therapy for the incident due to the mental anguish and suffering due to remembering the attack or being confronted by dogs in the future.

Compensation

You can receive compensation for the injuries you receive from a dog attack as long as the attack was not provoked. The owner’s insurance company, whether it’s homeowner’s, renter’s, or landlord’s, will cover the expense of your injuries, both standard and specialized treatments. If the owner is uninsured, the expenses will fall onto the owner to pay out of pocket. If the insurance companies are limited to a certain dollar amount for compensation, the owner of the dog is still responsible for the remaining costs.

Importance of Hiring an Attorney

There are many steps in securing your compensation from the owner of the dog that attacked you. Navigating through the insurance, animal control, and police report paperwork can be confusing. An attorney can help you ensure the correct filing to get you the compensation you need. Many dog attack related claims also never reach court because of the insurance company’s push for an outside settlement. While this may not seem like a big deal, without an attorney you could be compensated far less than what you are entitled to for your injuries.

Dog attack treatments range from standard medical treatment to specialized or long-term treatment depending on the extent of the injuries. Hiring an attorney to represent you after a dog attack will help you get the compensation you deserve to cover all your injury-related expenses. Call an experienced dog attack lawyer such as Scott T. Gegenheimer if you are attacked by a dog and find out what you can be compensated for.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

Slip and Fall Due to Poor Lighting

Slip and Fall from inadequate lighting

The simple things, such as level ground, dry surfaces, and adequate lighting ensure that we won’t trip or sustain a slip and fall. While it may seem extremely simple and even obvious, many times they are overlooked. We often end up falling and injuring ourselves on these dangers that are improperly designed, improperly constructed, or not maintained.

Poor visibility due to inadequate lighting is one of the common reasons slip and fall accidents occur. If you do have an accident because of poor design and inadequate lighting you may even be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Slip and Fall Accidents are Often Caused by Poor Lighting

Poor lighting can hide obstacles. How lighting Causes Slip and Fall Accidents

Lighting can make in impact in how you navigate the area. When there is poor lighting, you may trip over something you would normally see if there was actually enough light. With adequate lighting, you would notice the last step in the stairway or the obstacle in the middle of the office. When you trip over avoidable obstacles due to poor lighting, the business owner may be responsible.

Lighting can protect you from other hazardous conditions. A hole in the ground or obstacle on the floor could still be dangerous even with adequate lighting. The poor lighting gives you almost no chance to spot the danger. It also prevents you from deciding if you want to take the risk of confronting the hazard at all. In each instance, lighting causes unsafe conditions and may be the reason you trip or slip and fall.

Lighting Requirements

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the United States Department of Labor requires work areas to have minimum illumination amounts for the safety of employees. Offices and first aid areas require a minimum of 30 foot-candles, which is defined as “the light level at a distance of one foot away from a standard unit candle.” General construction plants and shops require 10 foot-candles and exits and stairways require at least five. These minimums must be met for employees, guests, clients and customers to prevent unsafe working conditions.

Common Areas with Inadequate LightingSlip and fall accidents occur in hallways with poor lighting.

  • Stairwells
  • Hallways
  • Parking lots
  • Bathrooms
  • Pool areas
  • Mall shopping centers
  • Stadiums

What Happens when there is Not Adequate Lighting

When companies or employers fail to provide adequate lighting which then causes an employee or customer to trip, the injured person can file a negligent claim against the company for the state of the working conditions. The company whose working conditions were not up to OSHA’s standards may be responsible for the injuries of the employee or customer. The injured may be able to receive compensation for loss of wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. It is the property owner’s duty to keep the premises well-lit according to OSHA’s standards to prevent people from receiving injuries, failure to do so can even result in punitive damages.

If you tripped or slipped and fell and received injuries on a property due to inadequate lighting you could be entitled to compensation for the damages you received. Contacting an attorney right away and preserving evidence will be your top priority after getting treatment for your injuries. Many property owners will not fairly settle a claim without legal representation so contacting an attorney is extremely important when dealing with a slip and fall injury. Contact Scott Gegenheimer today for a consultation about the injury you received due to the poor lighting conditions in or around any buildings.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

How to Escape a Dog Attack

How to Escape a Dog Attack

You’re jogging down the street listening to music and minding your own business when it happens. You didn’t hear a growl or bark but all of a sudden a dog is attacking. With their speed, strength, and sharp teeth, dogs can cause major harm to you and even put your life at risk. If you find yourself being attacked by a dog, utilizing certain steps and maneuvers can help you minimize harm and assist in your escape.

Follow these guidelines when a dog is attacking to help prevent further damage:

Escape a Dog Attack with Distance, Protection, and Aggressive Self-Defense

When a dog charges do not run.Keep Dogs at a Distance

Preventing the attack from happening is always the first goal. If a dog is charging at you, remain calm and do not run away. The initial charge of a dog is usually a warning and is accompanied with growling or barking. While it may be against your nature to stay still when a dog is running toward you, running could actually heighten a dog’s prey instincts and aggressive tendencies.

Remaining still and calm while avoiding eye contact will usually be enough to make the dog lose interest after they assess that you are not a threat. You may also try loud commands such as “No,” “Down,” or “Back.” Always avoid making sudden or aggressive movements.

Carry Protection

If the dog remains aggressive and is preparing for an attack, then prevention is no longer an option. You should always carry some form of protection when you go out on a run or walk in case an unexpected attack occurs. Pepper spray, an umbrella, or even a bag can be useful when a dog attacks.

These items should be used to keep the dog from actually biting you and can provide the dog with something else to focus on. Pepper spray is just as effective on dogs as it is on humans. Umbrellas, bags, or other items can be used to distract the dog or give the dog something else to bite rather than you.

When a dog bites, use self defense.Escape from a Dog Attack

When a dog gets past all defenses and manages to latch onto you, you should employ aggressive self-defense maneuvers to free yourself and escape. When the dog bites and refuses to let go, refrain from pulling away as this will only allow the dog’s teeth to tear the wound open further. To make the dog release its hold, grab its front paw and twist with force. This maneuver will inflict pain on the dog, causing it to release its grasp. It is more effective than a blow to the dog’s head or nose because this maneuver will not drive teeth deeper into a wound.

When escaping from a violent dog attack, the wellbeing of the animal should not be your first concern. It’s important to remember that your safety and escape are the most important factors in this situation. The dog is unlikely to restrain itself and neither should you. Protect sensitive areas like your head and throat as much as possible during an attack.

If you find yourself being confronted by a dog the next time you are out jogging or walking remember these tips and maneuvers: stay calm, keep the dog at a distance, and fight aggressively to free yourself during an attack. After an attack, be sure to contact a physician and a dog victim defense lawyer to ensure you receive proper medical treatment and are compensated for your damages.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

Dangerous Dog Breeds (Part 3)

Dangerous dog breeds

Certain dog breeds have distinct characteristics, which although not universal, can act as a guide to their behavior. Many dogs were bred for certain jobs in the past and, even today, still carry some of the same behavioral characteristics. While some characteristics do not endanger people and animals, other characteristics pose a threat. Examples include territorial, protective, and suspicious natures. Even with proper training, certain dogs still may have particular and dangerous behavioral traits that you should be aware of.

Dangerous Dog Breeds Often Have a History of Being Guard, Hunting, or Military Dogs

Shar-Pei

  • The Shar-Pei is a distinctive dog, recognizable by the wrinkled skin encompassing its body. Bred in the past to be a fighting and guard dog, this breed is aggressive toward animals and strangers without proper training. Shar-Pei are also independent and strong-willed dogs and will take control of situations and households without a strong leader. Due to the protective and independent nature of this dog, it may often act on its own if it feels the family is threatened. The Shar-Pei can be aggressive and should be handled with caution.
  • Height
    • Females: 18-20 inches
    • Males: 18-20 inches
  • Weight
    • 40-55 pounds

Chow Chow

  • Often called a Chow, this dog breed is extremely fluffy with an impressive mane and a curled tail. Known to be stubborn, reserved, and independent, these dogs were used for hunting and guarding as far back as the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.). Even with their own families, they tend to be distant and they will actively challenge approaching strangers if not introduced by their owners. Experts instruct that a Chow Chow should be significantly socialized as a puppy to counteract the aggressive tendencies and should never be approached without the owner present.
  • Height
    • Females: 18-20 inches
    • Males: 19-22 inches
  • Weight
    • 40-70 pounds

Boxers are dangerous dogsBoxer

  • The Boxer breed originated in Germany and is high energy and loyal. They have a history of guarding and serving in the military due to their alert and watchful personalities. These dogs are extremely affectionate with their family but can be suspicious of strangers if not socialized as puppies. If a Boxer feels it or its family is threatened it can respond with aggressive behavior without hesitation. With the Boxer’s strength, agility, and intelligence, people should be cautious when approaching one without the owner present and without knowing the individual dog’s personality.
  • Height
    • Females: 21-23.5 inches
    • Males: 22.5-25 inches
  • Weight
    • 60-70 pounds

A Dachshund is a dangerous dogDachshund

  • Although these dogs are small, they have the temperament of a much larger animal. Bred to be hunting dogs (with the power and confidence to take on a badger), these dogs have strong prey drives and will hunt smaller animals within a household including cats, birds, and rodents. Their personalities also include possessive and jealous natures and they can begin to snap and bite at strangers or even family members if not trained properly. While people may not see them as a threat because of their size, the Dachshund still has sharp teeth and maintains enough force to cause damage.
  • Height
    • Females: 8-9 inches
    • Males: 8-9 inches
  • Weight
    • 16-32 pounds

This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

What Should I do if a Dog Bites Me?

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Man’s best friend isn’t always friendly. Sometimes our furry companions turn against us and become aggressive and violent. Dogs can be unpredictable and put you or others you know in harms way. It doesn’t matter whether you are familiar with the dog or have never seen it before. If a dog becomes aggressive there are certain steps you should take to ensure you or your loved ones are safe and covered for the injuries incurred during the incident.

Treatment

Dogs have sharp teeth and can deeply puncture your skin to cause serious damage. Don’t wait to see if the wound will heal by itself; seek medical attention immediately after the incident. A physician will examine the wound for muscle, tendon or even bone damage, and administer the proper treatment. Additionally, you run the risk of infection when bitten. If the health of the dog is unknown, you may contract rabies and a rabies shot will be needed. A physician may also prescribe you antibiotics to prevent infection.

Get witnesses after a dog biteProof

After you are out of harms way and have calmed down you’ll need to document proof of your attack. Have someone you know and trust get the following information while you are seeking medical treatment. Have them talk to the witnesses of the attack and get their contact information for future reference. You should also take pictures of any wounds you received during the attack so you have evidence of the extent of the wound after you receive treatment. If the owner is present, have someone get their contact information too and ask for copies of the vaccinations their dog has received. Contact their vet shortly after the attack to verify the vaccination record.

Report the Incident

Contact the police after a dog biteYou’ll need to report any dog attack to animal control or the police and give them the information of the owner and the information of any witnesses. You may also get a call from an insurance company if the owner is insured. Be sure to collect the information of the insurance company as well, including the claim number and the amount of money set aside for your medical expenses.

After you’ve obtained proof, received treatment, and reported the incident, consider obtaining an attorney versed in dog bite cases to help ensure you are fully compensated for your injuries.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

Keeping Children Safe from Dogs this Halloween

Keep children safe from dogs

October is the month of cooler weather, pumpkin-flavored drinks, and the Halloween holiday. At the end of every October, people expect pranks, scary movies, and frightening occurrences because it’s Halloween, the holiday known for scary things, but some dangers are not as obvious as others. While people enjoy costumes, outdoor parties, and trick-or-treating, they sometimes overlook the dangers that come with mixing dogs, children, and Halloween festivities. With 4.5 million dog bites each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dog bites and Halloween child safety is a major concern. Dog owners that bring their pets along for the ride or allow their dogs to roam free during Halloween put a lot of children at risk of being bitten. It’s important to know the dangers of meeting dogs during holiday events and how to respond so you and your children can avoid a dog bite this Halloween.

Part of Your Child’s Safety Measures this Halloween Involves Staying Alert Around Dogs

Don't approach dogs on Halloween.Trick-or-Treating with Your Child

Taking your children trick-or-treating should be a fun experience, but people often bring their dogs with them, creating an unsafe experience. While it may seem like a cute idea, dogs can be aggressive toward strangers, especially in stressful situations. Many dog owners do not realize that their pets can be out of their comfort zone and act defensively or hostile in hectic places. A holiday that involves shrieking children, many strangers, and costumes that distort appearances is a stressful event for any dog, no matter how well trained.

If you are trick-or-treating with your children this year or allowing them to go on their own, ensure that everyone knows to take extra precaution when coming into contact with any dogs. Do not approach, pet, or call strange or even familiar dogs to you while trick-or-treating, as they may not recognize you in costume or may feel threatened by your appearance. Do not tease or agitate dogs in any way, and if a strange dog comes to you, ask the owner to respect your space or stand still, avoiding eye contact until the dog leaves. Try to avoid dogs when you are walking with your children from house to house to avoid further risk.

To keep children safe, beware of dogs behind fences. Visiting Homes with Dogs

Homes that have dogs inside the house, behind a fence, or leashed outside are not as safe to approach as they may appear. While the dog may seem secure, it takes just a quick second for them to slip out from under their owner’s control and by then it’s too late. The dog may be extremely protective and only concerned about defending its property and owners. You should avoid houses when you hear barking coming from inside a house, behind a fence, or when a dog is leashed-up in the yard. If you do visit a house with a dog, do not step forward, but instead let the owner know if you are not comfortable coming near the dog. Wait for them to put the dog away or come outside of the house without the dog and to you and your child with the candy. Make sure the door is firmly closed before turning around and walking away.

When going to a party at a house with a dog, remember to be extremely cautious when approaching, even if you are sure the dog knows you. The dog may already feel threatened by the number of people there and also may not recognize you in costume. Avoid cornering and agitating dogs during Halloween to prevent a potential dog attack.

Keeping your child safe from all dangers during Halloween festivities is important. Remember this Halloween that your child’s safety concerning dogs is another matter to consider when trick-or-treating. Be alert for strange dogs while out walking, and try to avoid dogs completely during the night for extra precaution.


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