Though it is unfair to stereotype certain dogs, raising a pup is a demanding process – and it takes a greater commitment of time and energy than many families realize. This is especially true for challenging breeds, who are either genetically inclined to be especially territorial or energetic, or simply need the right training and attention to develop good behavior. When the human trainers who adopt these animals do not take the time to care for them properly, it can become a serious problem. It may even prove dangerous or lead to a court hearing.
Here are the top 10 demanding breeds that people far too often raise incorrectly:
- Great Dane
- Wolf hybrids
- Doberman Pinscher
- German Shepherd
- Pit Bull
Though unjust, many people consider these breeds to be deadly, and an owner is accountable for properly caring for and managing his or her animals. Whenever owners violate this duty, a victim may be entitled to a personal injury claim and adequate compensation. However, there are some situations where the person a dog bites contributed to the incident or otherwise cannot open a case. For example:
- Was the dog running at large? In West Virginia, the plaintiff must prove that the dog’s owner allowed the animal to run freely at the time of the accident. Furthermore, the owner him or herself must be identified as the person who allowed the dog to run at large.
- Was the defendant on the dog owner’s property? Injuries that occur on private property are much harder to prove; for a dog bite to qualify for litigation, an aggressive dog must approach the person outside the defendant’s property.
- Was the animal provoked – or the person warned about approaching the animal?
- Any dog trained for fighting is considered dangerous.
- Could West Virginia’s one-bite rule apply? The state’s one-bite rule is used to determine liability. Essentially, if a dog has not demonstrated an aggressive history (no previous bites), his or her owner may not be accountable.
Though these situations are hazardous, there are some ways you can respond to a dog and control his or her behavior. Keep the following tips in mind if a canine approaches you.
Minimizing the Risk of Dog Bites
Whether a stray approaches you on a walk or you are meeting a best friend’s pup for the first time, if you stay collected and calm, you may avoid a bite. The Centers for Disease Control outlines a few ways you can stay safe:
- Remain motionless.
- Don’t approach a strange dog.
- Don’t run.
- Don’t panic.
- Don’t make loud noises.
- Don’t disturb a sleeping dog.
- Don’t disturb a nursing dog.
- Don’t pet a dog without letting it sniff and see you.
- Don’t provoke or encourage aggressive behavior in your dog.
- Don’t let small children play with any dog unsupervised.
In addition to these tips, if an aggressive canine knocks you down, the CDC advises you to curl into a ball, tuck your head down, and cover your neck and ears with your hands. After the dog is contained or an assault has ended, you will need to see a doctor to check for infection and receive proper care. Though this may seem like a frivolous step in minor attacks, it is important to document this treatment and ensure you collect the evidence you may need to pursue a personal injury claim.
Seek Compensation After a Dog Attack in West Virginia
West Virginia has rules limiting what you can collect, depending on the incident, but many dog bites are genuinely unprovoked. When this is the case, you must seek an attorney’s help. A professional advocate can file a personal injury claim and outline what you can expect, but most important, he or she can defend your rights; there are many defenses a dog owner can claim, but the right West Virginia personal injury lawyer will fight to ensure these excuses do not affect the compensation you are owed. For more information and to schedule a free consultation, contact the compassionate attorneys at Tiano O’Dell, PLLC today.