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Dogs make great loyal pets and are always pleased to see their owner; they are loving and have their own distinct personalities. However, every animal has the potential to become aggressive. Each year 200,000 people are bitten by dogs in the UK, and a number of those are tragically killed as a result. It is an extremely distressing statistic which comes as a surprise to many people who see dogs as friendly animals which often become part of the family unit.
Being bitten by a dog is unpleasant for anyone. Even when a dog is playing, its strong jaw can inflict wounds to human flesh that cause pain and infection. Even breeds of animal that are known for their gentle temperament are potential biters. Any dog can become annoyed and agitated during hot weather, when they are eating, sleeping or with their puppies. Amongst the number of people bitten by dogs is an alarming amount of children. 70% of all dog attacks are on children with 77% of the animals known to the child.
Children are attacked by dogs for several reasons. Firstly, their inexperience and trusting nature can result in an angry dog; they are not aware that dogs can be dangerous, as the family pet is often well loved by children. They may irritate a dog without realising it by playing and stroking a dog that is feeding or sleeping. It is not advisable to leave a child unattended with any animal whether it is the familiar family pet or an unknown dog. The second reason that children are susceptible to dog attacks is their height. A child is often the same height as a dog and young children will come face to face with a dog when standing. Whilst an attack on an adult may result in a bitten arm or leg, an attack on child can lead to serious facial and head wounds.
There are several points that can be followed to help prevent a dog attack on an adult or a child. They are as follows:
? A dog should never be disturbed when it is eating, sleeping or caring for its puppies
? A dog that is tied up behind a fence or in a car shouldn't be approached
? Never touch a dog without letting him see and sniff you first
? You must always ask permission to stroke someone else's dog, some animals don't react well to strangers
? Never approach a strange dog or a dog without its owner
? Never tease a dog by poking it
? Never run away from a dog that is chasing you, stop and stand still and calm and back away from the animal without looking into its eyes. Never scream
? If a dog attacks it is a good idea to put something between you and him such as a jacket or bag
? If a dog attacks you should curl up into a ball and cover your head with your hands
If you own a dog you are responsible for its behavior and must make sure that there is never a situation where it may bite someone, especially a child. Dogs should be socialised as puppies so that they are used to humans and not just people that are known to them. They should also be trained in the basic commands such as sit and stay. Unfortunately, it is impossible to completely control a dog; a dog that is normally placid and friendly can become aggressive suddenly and without warning. They are hunting animals and their natural instinct is to attack when irritated. When provoked, chased or encouraged to become excitable they are more likely to bite.
If you have been bitten by a dog you should obtain the owners details, including insurance information so that you can make a compensation claim from the owner of the dog. You should seek medical advice if you have serious wounds or wounds that could become infected.
Sadly, dog bites are extremely common, however, if a dog is properly trained and supervised at all times the chance of an accident happening can be minimised. It is also advisable to have adequate insurance that will cover you should your dog bite someone. If you have been bitten by someone else's dog and it can be shown that the dog has been aggressive before, then you can claim compensation for a personal injury. Claiming compensation can help you to get your life back on track and compensate you for any losses incurred, such as loss of earnings or medical expenses.
To make a dog bite compensation claim call YouClaim on 0800 10 757 95 or visit www.youclaim.co.uk to find more information about dog bites and claiming compensation.
Editorial notes: YouClaim provides full accident compensation services. Helps people to claim compensation for all types of injury from whiplash to head injuries.
By Sophie Evans
Compensation following a non fault accident.
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