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Steps to help protect yourself and your kids from dog bites

People tend to think of dogs as sources of companionship, entertainment and protection. However, dogs can also be the source of serious injury and trauma for people. Certain dogs don't know how to behave properly around small children or unfamiliar adults. Other dogs receive training from a young age that increases the risk that they pose to the public.

When a dog attacks a person, it can cause severe damage to the body. Major scarring is also a concern, as is psychological trauma resulting from the attack. The best option is usually to do anything in your power to avoid a dog bite attack. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of a dog bite for you and the children in your family.

Be cautious around strange dogs

While most dogs are friendly, it can be difficult to know what the personality of a strange dog really is. For that reason, you should teach your children to never approach an unfamiliar dog. This is particularly true if the dog in question is not on a leash or directly attended by its owner.

A strange dog may suddenly snap and the end results could be catastrophic for you and your family. The best option is to avoid contact with dogs unless you know they are safe.

Watch for warning signs of an aggressive dog

Educating yourself and your children about the body language that dogs use can help you determine if a dog poses a potential threat. A dog with a tense body, stiff tail, furrowed brow or retracted ears is probably an angry dog. A dog staring intensely, attempting to back away from you or rolling its eyes in a manner that lets you see the whites could also be about to attack.

Obviously, growling and baring teeth are also significant warning signs. If a dog seems tense or stressed, you should not approach it or try to interact with it. The same is true of any dog currently eating. Instead, you should leave the situation or get your children away from that dog as soon as possible.

Know your rights when a dog does bite

All the information in the world about dog behavior and safety rules can't prevent your family from experiencing a dog bite. Maybe a typically friendly dog in your neighborhood suddenly becomes aggressive. Perhaps a dog at a house you were visiting turns on you or one of your children.

You never know when a dog could become violent toward humans. Thankfully, Texas does offer protections to those who suffer attacks by vicious dogs. In many cases, the owner may be liable for the injuries that the dog causes when it attacks. If you are struggling to pay medical bills related to a dog bite attack, it might be time to explore your legal rights and options in Texas related to vicious dogs.

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    Robert Alden: 2005, 2006, 2008-2019
    Kevin Henrichson: 2017-2019
    Rising Star: 2005-08, 2013-14
    Derek Davis: Rising Star 2004

    Super Lawyers are chosen by Thomson Reuters and published in Texas Monthly Magazine

  • Don Davis:
    Personal Injury Litigation 1993-2014
    Legal Malpractice Law 2014

    Robert Alden:
    Commercial Litigation 2006-2020
    Bet-the-Company Litigation 2010-2020
    Personal Injury Litigation 2011-2020
    Lawyer of the Year – Personal Injury 2012
    Lawyer of the Year – Bet-the-Company Litigation 2019

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    Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP:
    2002-2012

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    Tier 1 Commercial Litigation 2011-2019

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