Animal bites can be dangerous to people in Minnesota and elsewhere, leading to severe injuries, lacerations and infections. When people fail to control their pets, the consequences can be disastrous for others; people have even lost their lives from dog bites and other attacks. Every year, around 4.7 million people across the country are bitten by dogs; of those, around 800,000 require medical treatment. While some people require stitches or bandaging, others develop serious infections as a result of animal bites.

The consequences can be particularly striking for young children: Over half of all bites to kids 4 and younger happen in the head and neck region. In addition, 400,000 cat bites take place each year, leading to 66,000 emergency room visits. There are several ways that people can help to reduce the risk of an animal bite and the resulting injuries. When greeting a strange dog or cat, it can be best to avoid extending hands because some animals view it as a threat. In addition, it’s best to ask permission of the owner before reaching out to pet a cat or dog. The owner may warn against touching the animal if it is known to be reactive.

When people are threatened by a dog, they may be best protected by staying in place rather than running. By remaining stationary and turning their heads away, people can protect their face from a full-frontal attack as well as avoid eye contact. People should ask others to call the police in case of a dog attack.

Dog bites can have serious consequences for their victims, including mounting medical bills and years of treatment and rehabilitation. A personal injury lawyer may be able to help the victims of severe animal attacks seek compensation for their damages, including current and future medical bills and lost wages.