It is generally never a good idea to approach a dog without asking its owner first. While many dogs are sociable with people they do not know, others can be fearful of strangers or specific objects. If you come too close to a reactive dog, it may become defensive and bite.
Possible life-long consequences of dog bites
Suffering a dog bite often requires immediate medical attention to avoid infections. If left untreated, an infected wound may induce septic shock and require amputation. It also has the potential to be fatal.
Some victims may only require a few stitches, but those who suffer lacerations may be left with permanent scars. In the case of avulsion, when the dog has bitten off a part of the body, the victim may suffer disfigurement and require reconstructive surgery.
It is also common for a dog bite survivor to struggle with long-term mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder after an attack. They may have to live with anxiety, depression, insomnia, and intrusive flashbacks. The victim may also develop a phobia of dogs, reducing their quality of life.
Pet owners may be liable
According to Minnesota law, a pet owner is liable for damages if their dog bites or injures someone without provocation in a public area. The pet owner may also be held responsible if the dog injures someone by jumping on them or knocking them over.
If the victim chooses to file a personal injury lawsuit, they have until six years from the date of their injury to do so. The psychological and physical scars of a dog attack can last for life. Victims may be able to recover their medical and rehabilitation costs by filing a personal injury lawsuit.