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Watch out for potential dog attacks during Halloween

Halloween is often associated with fall colors, pumpkin carving and trick or treating. However, this time of year brings up many more concerns than just what type of candy one will get or whether something on the property of a homeowner will scare him or her. Because trick or treaters will be entering the property of neighbors and strangers, it is important to understand certain risks and dangers that could be present.

If the homeowner owns a dog, it is possible that the dog could get out of the house, get scared by those dressed up in costumes and bite or attack visitors on their property. Dogs, no matter what age or breed, often react to trick or treaters. Whether it is normal excitement of the doorbell ringing or the stress of too many people being around, a dog might not act like their normal self when trick or treaters are present.

A dog could easily react poorly to trick or treaters. Costumes might confuse or frighten the canine, causing them to act defensively. This could result in a dog bite or a dog attack. In order to avoid this potentially serious injury to a trick or treater, it is important that dog owners take the necessary steps during Halloween. This means gating the dog away from the door and even making sure they are not in the front yard where visitors will be walking.

Because it is reasonable to assume that a dog might react in this scenario, it is expected that dog owners will take care to avoid this possibility whether or not the dog has bitten in the past. Those harmed by a dog bite on the property of the dog owner could hold the negligent dog owner liable for the injuries suffered in the incident through a dog bite claim.

A dog attack does not only result in physical injuries, but could also cause emotional pain. The victim might develop a fear of dogs following the attack, making it difficult for him or her to be around them or travel to the homes of friends and family. A personal injury claim could address these damages and expenses arising from the dog attack.

Source: Fox Business, "Why Halloween Scares Insurance Providers (and Should Scare You)," Shannon Ireland, Oct. 23, 2015

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Law Office of Keith A. Hammond, P.C.

Keith A. Hammond, P.C. Attorney at Law
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