Every year, dogs bite nearly 4.7 million people, more than half of whom are children. The American Veterinary Medical Association recently released a list of states with the most reported dog bites. New York ranked No. 10 on the list, according to a report in the Star-Gazette of Elmira, N.Y.
In 2012, State Farm Insurance handled 116 dog bite claims in New York, totaling $6.4 million. But that doesn’t mean that everyone who was bitten was fully compensated for their injuries, which can include serious wounds, infections and, especially for children, emotional trauma.
National Dog Bite Prevention Week
In recognition of the problem, the U.S. Postal Service, medical professionals, veterinarians and the insurance industry recently observed National Dog Bite Prevention Week.
“Dogs are wonderful, intelligent and loyal creatures, but they depend on responsible owners to teach them how to behave around people,” said Douglas G. Aspros, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Or, as AVMA says on its website, “70 million nice dogs … but any dog can bite.”
How to Behave Around Dogs
Aspros recommends that everyone become educated about how to behave around dogs, especially when they are aggressive. G. Jeffrey Aaron of the Star-Gazette used AVMA recommendations to make his own list of dos and don’ts, which includes:
- Never run past a dog, because they love to chase.
- If a dog comes over to sniff you, stand still and cover your private parts with one hand.
- Remain calm.
- If you wind up on the ground, the AMVA recommends curling into a ball with your hands over your head and neck, protecting the face.
- When a dog is eating, sleeping or caring for puppies, leave it alone.
If you are attacked or bitten by a dog, go to an emergency room. If you were injured, contact the New York City personal law firm of David Resnick & Associates, P.C. We can help you determine whether you have grounds to seek compensation for your medical expenses and other costs.