Dog Bite Prevention

"Man's best friend."  "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."  "A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself."  You get the picture.  We love our four legged friends.  Still, accidents happen and sometimes dogs attack.  Sad, but true.  Still, there are things you can do to deter a dog from attacking you.  Here are some rules to prevent dog bites from happening to you or your loved ones:

1.  Do not approach a dog that is not your own.  Even if that dog is with its handler or on a leash.  

2.  Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not like hugs or kisses.  This is the main cause of facial bites to children.  

3.  Never stare a dog in the eyes or put your face up to a dog's face.

4.  If your child is visiting a friend or neighbor who has a dog, make sure that friend or neighbor will supervise the dog at all times.

5.  Never try to take something away from a dog.

6.  Never approach a dog when it is eating or drinking.

7.  Be cautious when approaching a dog that is sleeping, laying on the floor/furniture, or injured.

8.  Never approach a dog that is tied up.

9.  Never try to pet a dog through a gate or fence, even if you know the dog is usually friendly.  Similarly, never climb a gate or fence to access the dog.

10.  Never break up a dog fight or get in between two dogs that are playing.

11.  Be careful when approaching a dog that just had puppies.

12.  If a dog gets overly friendly or hostile, be a rock meaning curl up on the ground while covering your head and face with your arms and hands.

13.  Similarly, should a dog get overly friendly or hostile, be a tree.  Stop, fold your branches (hands), watch your roots grow (bow your head and look at your feet), and count in your head until the dog goes away or someone comes to help.

14.  Do not punish your dog for growling.  Growling is a dog's warning sign that it is very uncomfortable.  If you inhibit a dog's warning growl, next time it may attack without growling first.     

Be safe!

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14-Year Old Driver of SUV Killed

The beginning of October marks "Fall Break" for many students around the Valley.  Some students use this time to vacation with their families while others spend more time with their friends.  For a 14-year old in Phoenix, however, this Fall Break turned deadly.  

On October 14, 2015, a 14-year old driving an SUV carrying three of his friends sped away from police, which ultimately resulted in the 14-year-old crashing into a neighborhood block wall killing him and seriously injuring his three passengers.  

Police responded to a call about a fight at 2 a.m.  Although police were unable to find the fight, they did notice an SUV driving slowly with no headlights on in the neighborhood.  Officers tried stopping the vehicle, but it sped away.  Officers report that they backed off from the chase turning their emergency lights off when they suddenly heard tires squealing and saw a cloud of dust.  It was then that officers saw the 14-year-old drive through the yards of at least four homes and damage a utility box before hitting a block wall between two homes.  

Police discovered the 14-year-old driver fatally injured inside the vehicle while the other three teens fled on foot.  Police later apprehended one of the teens, also a 14-year-old.  

Police note that the SUV belonged to one of the passenger's parents.  Officers note that it is not uncommon for teens to take their parents' cars without permission, which sometimes lead to tragic results.  Still, officers continue to stress to parents and teens alike that "when you do bad things, bad things happen."  

Even if a child takes his/her parent's vehicle without permission, a parent may be liable.  Known as the vicarious liability doctrine, this legal doctrine states parents may be held legally and financially responsible for the carelessness of their children.  Although the vicarious liability doctrine exist less today in its strict sense, there are many ways parents/teens may be held responsible for damages resulting from a car accident.  For example, if you were involved in an accident involving a teen driver, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against: (1) the minor directly for his/her careless driving; and/or (2) the minor's parents if they knew or should have known that their child had the propensity to cause the accident.  Because the laws involving teen accidents are somewhat complicated, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney.  If you were recently involved in an accident caused by a teen driver contact the Rubezic Law Group today at 602-487-7076 for a free consultation to understand what your rights and options are.  

Source, the Associated Press, October 14, 2015 at 7:30 a.m.