Running in the outdoors is one of the ways many Californians choose to exercise. The weather generally stays largely conducive to this activity. One problem that many a runner has had to face though is that of a hostile canine. In California, dog attacks on runners are pretty common, and so are lawsuits resulting from injuries caused due to them. Following are some tips we have compiled that you can follow the next time you take to running the streets.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
This approach can be very useful in many situations, not the least important of which is protecting yourself from waiting dangers such as dogs. Be well aware of your chosen route, and if you can help it, leave your headphones behind when you leave home. The latter is a must if you have an especially vague idea of the terrain you are going to be crossing.
Avoid Unfamiliar Areas
Keep away from the bad parts of town, and avoid running in places where there may be dogs on the loose. That includes dog parks and even rural areas that are close to farms. Focus on being sure the chances of you crossing a dog are minimal.
Keep Distance from Loose Dogs
As long as you have the space, always maintain space from any loose dog you may find beside your chosen path of running. Lean in favor of crossing the street or even changing direction if you have to. Even a dog that does not look hostile in the beginning can suddenly choose to attack, and even more likely if it thinks you are an oncoming threat.
Read the Animal’s Body Language
A hostile dog can be spotted easily enough if you know what signs to look for. If the animal is on the offensive, you are likely to encounter one or more of the following things: loud growling, erect ears, raised hackles, and a high-and-stiff or quick-waggling tail. Whatever you do, refrain from making direct eye contact, because that is one way that dogs communicate. Just hold your head turned slightly away and make sure the dog stays in your peripheral vision until you are safely away.
If in spite of all these measures you still get bitten by a dog while running, then its owner would be liable to compensate you for your losses, including treatment and time off work. A good dog attack lawyer can tell you all you need to know about winning compensation in court. A competent dog attack injury attorney can also make sure that you get the maximum compensation winnable under California law.