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Dog Bite Awareness Week attempts to educate pet owners

Millions of households across the country have dogs that are counted as part of the family. The vast majority of dog owners would likely assert that their dog is perfectly harmless and would never attack another person, even a stranger. Unfortunately, millions of people in this country are injured by a dog bite every year, including many in Massachusetts. Despite what a dog owner might believe, when a dog is placed in an unfamiliar situation with strange people, its behavior may be difficult to predict. If a dog does attack, the owner could face claims for financial liability.

The Center for Disease Control reports that over 4.5 million Americans suffer from some sort of dog attack each year. Of this number, a significant number are children. The U.S. Postal Service also reports that over 5,700 postal workers were attacked by dogs in 2014. In some cases where a postal worker feels threatened, mail delivery could be disrupted for both the pet owner as well as neighbors if the dog is roaming the neighborhood.

There are many tips on how dog owners can help decrease the likelihood of a dog attack. In fact, Dog Bite Awareness Week occurs in May to help educate people regarding certain methods. While it is important to safeguard the safety of others, dog owners should also realize that they could be held liable for the actions of their pets.

A dog bite can cause significant physical and emotional trauma, requiring extensive medical treatment, potentially including plastic surgery and therapy. While some of these expenses might be covered by workers' compensation if a person is attacked while completing their job responsibilities, some things -- such as pain and suffering -- will not be recovered. Many people in Massachusetts have chosen to turn to an experienced personal injury attorney to help ensure they receive adequate compensation to cover all of the effects of a dog attack, including immediate financial ramifications as well as those that might occur in the future.

Source: about.usps.com, "U.S. cities ranked for dog bites", May 14, 2015

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