Canines have been called "man's best friend" for generations. Yet dogs can be unpredictable animals. Even a normally good-tempered dog can unexpectedly attack when it feels threatened, or when it believes something is threatening property it is charged to protect. Many people don't realize that having a seemingly docile temperament isn't an iron-clad guarantee that the dog will be gentle in every situation.
Here are five more common myths about dog bites in Ohio:
Myth 1: Dog bites are very rare events. On the contrary, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points out that approximately 4.5 million people across the country are bitten by dogs every year.
Myth 2: Most bites aren't anything to worry about. Not so. CDC statistics show that almost one out of every five bites becomes infected, which can lead to a host of serious problems. In addition, dog bites often cause serious scars and may require reconstructive surgery to correct. Finally, for children, being attacked can sometimes be traumatic enough to require professional psychological counseling.
Myth 3: Dogs are no more likely to bite one person than another. Surprisingly, the numbers show that men are actually more likely to be attacked than women. A high number of children are also victims every year. Among children, those between the ages of five and nine are the most likely to suffer injuries.
Myth 4: If you're threatened by a dog, the best thing to do is to act aggressive and try to scare it off. Aggressively confronting a hostile dog typically makes matters much worse. Instead, the CDC recommends that you stand still, avoid loud noises and avoiding making direct eye contact with the animal. If you are knocked down, curl into a ball and cover your ears and neck with your arms.
Myth 5: If the owner takes reasonable precautions to prevent any attacks, he or she isn't responsible if the dog bites someone anyway. Under Ohio's strict liability law, pet owners are responsible for their animals under all circumstances. You don't have to prove that the owner was careless. Simply being bitten is reason enough to seek compensation for your injuries. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can guide you through the process of filing a claim and pursuing the money you may deserve.