It is fun to play with dogs, especially when they respond well to you. However, biting is a possibility and can lead to minor to severe consequences.
Dogs are animals, and just like any other animal, they tend to bite. There are about 4.7 million dog bite cases in America every year. It is also more likely for children than adults to be victims. In fact, half of the reported number are children ages 5 to 9 years old.
Dr. Ian Dunbar has a system to classify and assess dog bites. The scale has six levels of severity.
- No skin contact
- Skin contact made but with no punctures
- A single bite with shallow wounds
- A single bite with deep wounds
- Multiple bites with deep wounds
- The death of the victim
The first level doesn’t involve biting. However, the dog shows aggressive behavior by biting the air and grunting. Frequently, they reveal their teeth and growl as signals of a possible attack. It is their way of scaring you off. The bottom line is that the dog keeps its distance from you while trying to send you a warning.
The next level includes biting but does not break the skin. This type of bite usually happens when you work with dogs. It includes trainers, veterinarians, and groomers, among other things. However, remember that level two means the dog wants to send you a signal that it is under stress. Also, it has no intention of harming you. Regardless, there is still aggression, so determining the cause of the tension helps avoid escalating the problem to a higher level.
At level three, the dog can pose a real threat to you. A bite from this can cause one to four tooth punctures. Moreover, the wounds do not go deeper than half the size of the dog’s canine teeth. There are different reasons for this type of bite, and they include the following:
- The dog is afraid
- Rough play escalates into aggression
- Poor socialization
- They received trauma
- and other causes
Injuries at this level can either be from you trying to remove your hand or the dog shaking its head while biting. This results in one to four tooth punctures with at least one deep wound. Due to this, level four is a serious bite. In this case, a professional assesses the situation, and until then, the dog is kept away.
A bite at this level indicates that the dog is considered dangerous. This compromises more than two Level 4 bites. Thus, you can suffer from visible bruises, gashes, and tears.
The last level is the most severe. A Level 6 bite happens when it leads to death or the consumption of human flesh. Fortunately, this is rare.
What to Do
If you are a dog bite victim, immediately seek medical attention, especially if there are wounds. Regardless of how severe it is, manage it as soon as possible. You would also want legal help to receive the proper compensation. An attorney who specializes in personal injury is your best bet.
The Bottom Line
Overall, the dog bite scale indicates the severity of the attack. Levels 1 and 2 are where the majority of the bites fall; Levels 3 and 4 require greater precautions; and Levels 5 and 6 are serious incidents. As some bite levels are life-threatening, you must have legal representation. There are potential losses, so working with a trusted attorney can assist you in recovering.
Viciti Law has focused its legal representation on cases involving personal injury and insurance claim denials. We have the expertise to assess your case and fight for your best interests. Discover your legal options and how our firm can assist you in obtaining the settlement you are due from the person or entity that caused your injuries. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation.