According to the Arizona Daily Star, the number of people seeking treatment for dog bite injuries in Southern Arizona nearly doubled between 2008 and 2012. While a number of factors can influence an increase in this type of personal injury, canine experts cite uneducated or inhumane actions of people as the leading cause. For example, dog owners often unwisely interfere in dogfights in an effort to stop the altercation.
Statistics in Southern Arizona
In the 2011 fiscal year, the University of Arizona Medical Center treated 328 people for dog bite injuries. These personal injury victims included both adults and children. In most cases, the patient’s own dog bit him or her, with the most common injuries being on the hands and fingers. In asking a patient how the injury occurred, doctors commonly hear the scenario of the dog fighting with another dog and the owner intervening to break up the fight.
Injuries from Small Breeds
Even small dogs have very powerful jaws that can severely damage someone’s hand or fingers. When someone does suffer a dog bite, he or she is required to report the incident to the county. However, not everyone knows about this rule and some people fear reporting will automatically lead to euthanasia. In reality, the county cannot euthanize a dog unless it is rabid or a justice of the peace orders it to do so.
Caution around Strange Dogs
While many dog bite injuries involve someone and his or her own pet, some people have sustained injuries from approaching a stranger’s dog. Owners do have a responsibility to protect the public from a dangerous dog. However, if someone wants to pet an unfamiliar dog, he or she should always ask the owner first and then let the dog sniff the back of his or her hand.
The Hameroff Law Firm, PC offers a free consultation with a Tucson personal injury attorney. If you’ve suffered a dog bite injury in Southern Arizona, please call us at (520) 792-4700. In each personal injury case we handle, our attorneys bring more than a quarter century of experience and a personal dedication to obtaining full financial compensation.