Although dog bite accidents may seem uncommon, they happen quite frequently. Every day, individuals fall victim to debilitating and unprovoked dog attacks. Usually, victims of dog bites suffer physical pain and even psychological trauma. In fact, even seemingly minor dog bites can cause serious long-term complications or fatalities.
Dog bite attacks can change the lives of victims forever. Although any dog is capable of biting a person, some breeds are more likely to bite than others. As a matter of fact, certain dog breeds are statistically proven to be more dangerous to humans than other breeds. Dog attacks also vary significantly by breed.
Regardless of breed, dogs can be violent, deadly, and may carry diseases. They are capable of harming vital organs and arteries or spread an infectious disease. They can attack quickly and viciously. In the wrong place at the wrong time, “man’s best friend” may become man’s worst enemy.
- Fortunately, victims of dog bite attacks may have legal recourse. To receive compensation for their injuries, victims of dog attacks must prove that the owner of the dog is responsible.
- Some owners are incompetent and irresponsible. In many cases, dogs should be kept under control, either on leashes, behind fences, or inside the house. A dog owner should take all reasonable precautions necessary to prevent a dog bite or attack.
- It is often difficult to get a dog owner to admit that he or she is responsible for a dog attack. Moreover, it can be even more difficult for dog owners to accept that they are liable for the damages caused by their dogs and must compensate to the victim.
- There are many different situations and scenarios that may result in a dog bit accident. In some cases, the victim of the dog bite may have provoked the attack. In other cases, the owner is completely irresponsible in the care of their pet. Sometimes, freak accidents can occur. The complexity of a dog bite accident is one of the main reasons why proving responsibility and liability can be a long and difficult process.
Seeking A Dog Bite Attorney
- If you have suffered a dog bite injury, a lawyer can likely help you get adequate compensation. The services of an experienced attorney are crucial to a dog bite case for several reasons. First, attorneys understand how to present your injury to gain the most financial compensation. As personal injury specialists, attorneys understand personal injury law very well and can apply those laws to your case. These legal professionals also recognize the many difficulties involved in the process.
- Most importantly, a seasoned attorney can help determine who is responsible for the incident. Without a legal professional, winning a dog bite claim may be extremely difficult because of the complexity of the case. Fortunately, victims of dog bites can employ legal experts for positive legal outcomes.
- An experienced attorney will hold the right party responsible to get each victim the financial compensation they deserve. Attorneys can also lead the general negotiation process in dog bite cases. Too often, personal injury claimants lack the necessary negotiating skills to compete with professional negotiators in a settlement negotiation.
- Many insurance companies may reach settlements that do not account for full scope of the victim’s damages. Insurance adjusters will pressure victims to settle as quickly as possible. This is problematic because the settlement amount will often be too low. Without an experienced personal injury attorney, a dog bite victim may fall into this settlement trap and walk away from the case with a settlement much lower than they deserve.
- Legal counsel is incredibly important because victims are often taken advantage of by insurance companies or other parties in a personal injury case. A qualified lawyer can help a victim pursue fair compensation for all reasonable damages. Without this crucial legal aid, victims of vicious dog bites may continue to suffer.
Dog bites can lead to significant pain and suffering. Some dog bites may even be fatal without immediate medical assistance. This is why it is important to seek help as quickly as possible and get justice for the damages.
Overall, dogs are one of the most popular pets in the United States. Approximately 77.5 million dogs are owned in the country, and roughly 4.5 million people are bitten by those dogs every year. Fortunately, most of these incidents are minor cases that heal rather quickly.
Medical Dog Bite Statistics
However, dog bite victims are certainly no strangers to the emergency room. According to statistics published in 2010 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the number of people who have been sent to ERs or hospitals for a dog bite has approximately doubled since 1995.
The study found that an estimated 316,200 people were treated in U.S. emergency rooms for dog bites in 2008. This equates to nearly 104 ER visits per 100,000 people. Roughly 9,500 people were admitted to hospitals for dog bite treatments, a rate of three people per 100,000.
Dog Bites By Demographics
- As research indicates, the number of dog bite victims requiring ER or hospital treatment are not equally distributed amongst all demographics. Sex, age and environment seem to play a part in who is most at risk.
- According to the 2010 study by the AHRQ, the majority of people who visited an ER for dog bites were men. Men were treated in emergency rooms at a rate of 110 per 100,000, while women were treated at a rate of 98 per 100,000.
- The vast majority of dog bite victims are in the younger demographics. Just over 73% of victims going to ERs and 51% of those hospitalized for dog bites were under the age of 45.
Dog Bites By Geographic Location
- Dog bite attacks also appear more prevalent in certain geographic areas. The AHRQ statistics show that most dog bites occurred in rural areas. There were four times as many ER visits for dog bites in rural communities than there were in urban communities.
- Additionally, roughly three times as many rural victims were admitted to hospitals as city victims.
- The study also accounted for geographic region among dog bite victims going to ERs and hospitals. The highest rate of ER visits was in the Midwest, at nearly 110 per 100,000 people. The next highest rate occurred in the Northeast, where 109 people per 100,000 visited ERs. The lowest rate of ER treatment was in the West, at 93 people per 100,000.
Dog Bites By Costs
- The study also revealed that hospital stays for dog bite victims were approximately 50% more expensive than hospital stays for other similar injuries. Injuries treated in dog bite cases included infections, open wounds, and fractures. The average cost for dog bite victims was $18,200 per stay. Over 40 percent of these costs were paid through private insurance.
- The average daily cost for dog bite-related hospitalizations was 150% higher than that for other injury-related hospitalizations.
- Overall, the aggregate cost for dog-bite inpatient stays reached $53.9 million in 2008.
- Fortunately, most of these dog bites and attacks were non-fatal. Fatal dog bites make up a very small percentage of all dog bites injuries. Although personal injuries like dog bites pose little to no risk of death, these attacks are still potentially life-changing in other ways.
Non-Fatal Dog Attacks
Most dog bites are not fatal but can still cause serious injuries. The definitive study on non-fatal dog bites was published in 2003 by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This study examined the type and extent of non-fatal dog bite injuries.
CDC Dog Bite Statistics
- According to the CDC, about 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs every year. Of those bitten, nearly 20% require professional medical treatment. In addition, over 31,000 people per year require reconstructive surgery following non-fatal dog bites.
- An alarming number of non-fatal dog bites occur among children. In 2001, approximately 42% of dog bite victims were under the age of 15. The highest rate of dog bites among all age ranges were children between the ages of four and 10. Most of those cases involved boys rather than girls.
- Sadly, many children are too small or unable to defend themselves against attacking dogs. Whereas adults may stand a better chance of stopping the attack, children may struggle immensely. Children attacked by dogs may incur lasting and severe wounds and injuries.
- The most common non-fatal injuries were bites to the arm and hands, which comprised 45% of non-fatal injuries. Nearly 26% of injuries were to the legs and feet. Although head and neck bites were the least common injuries among all age groups, at 23%, nearly 65% of children’s injuries were in this region of the body.
- Unfortunately, some injuries involve a vital organ or artery. In these cases, the victim may require extensive medical treatment.
Deadly Dog Attack Statistics by Breed
There are many studies evaluating dog bite cases by breed. Certain animals are bred to be stronger and fiercer, while other dogs are bred to be more docile. Some dogs are simply more violent or vicious than others, depending upon circumstantial factors.
Nonetheless, it is important to understand which breeds are more likely to attack and cause significant damage than others. Some canines have the power, temperament, and breeding traits necessary to cause serious damage. The average person should be aware of these facts. With this in mind, it is important to exercise caution around all unfamiliar dogs, even if they are not the breeds mentioned below.
Dog Bite Statistics By Breed
A compilation of statistics from the United States and Canada between 1982 and 2011 shows that certain dog breeds bite people more often than other breeds. One surprising fact obtained from these statistics is that three breeds are responsible for the vast majority of bite cases: pit bulls, rottweilers and wolf hybrids.
These three breeds should be trained and raised with care, and their owners should take great precautions with their dogs whenever possible to prevent dog bites. These precautionary measures include using leashes, fences, and ensuring that the dog has a proper lifestyle (such as a consistent feeding schedule and exercise routine).
Most Dog Bites By Breed
- According to the statistics, approximately 77 percent of all dog attacks were by pit bulls, rottweilers and wolf hybrids. Moreover, these three breeds accounted for 81 percent of attacks among adults. In addition, these three breeds were responsible for 68 percent of all fatal dog bites in the U.S. and Canada.
- The breeds that caused the most fatalities, however, were not the same three breeds that caused the most injuries. Full-blooded pit bulls caused 207 fatalities, the most fatalities recorded during the study period. Rottweilers were second at 78, huskies were third at 22, and wolf hybrids came up fourth with 19 deaths. Other breeds responsible for fatal bites were bullmastiffs, German shepherds, akitas, chows, and Doberman pinschers.
- Every dog bite attack is different, and the unique factors in each dog bite attack must be carefully evaluated. The situation and circumstance must be fully assessed, and all contributing factors must be considered to build a strong legal case.
Getting Legal Help
To win a dog bite claim, the claimant must prove that another party is at fault for the injury. This may involve proving negligence, recklessness, and/or intentional misconduct. Certain personal injury lawyers can do this better than others based on a variety of factors, including skillset and previous experience.
At the Law Offices of Samuel Fishman, Philadelphia Dog Bite lawyers are ready to help. Samuel Fishman, Esq. understands the struggle of filing a personal injury case and cares about your peace of mind.
- After all, the last thing dog bite victims want is to have to deal with attorneys. This is especially difficult while going through medical treatment and struggling through basic daily tasks.
- However, professional legal counsel is often the only avenue for claiming sufficient compensation following a dog bite. If the bitten individual is not at-fault, then they should seek compensation for their injuries. It is in a victim’s best interests to contact an attorney as soon as possible after the incident in order to file for the compensation they deserve.
- Victims of dog bites should never take the blame for being bitten. Even if it seems like the victim was at fault, an experienced attorney may uncover facts that were not readily apparent when the incident occurred.
- In fact, many dog owners are quick to blame victims for provoking the dog to attack. Some dog owners may even try to hide important facts about their dogs’ behaviors or the specific situation. Instead of accepting the blame, the victim should seek legal help.
- An experienced attorney will offer a free consultation, and, if the case is accepted, the payment plan is usually on a contingency basis. This means that there are no upfront costs required to initiate proceedings. The attorney does not get paid unless the victim receives a settlement or judgment for the injuries sustained in the attack.
Victims of dog bite attacks should not wait to file their case. The statute of limitations differs from state to state. If the case is submitted after the statute of limitations has run out, the case has the potential of being thrown out entirely. As a result, victims should seek legal counsel before it is too late.
The best legal professionals can help through every stage of the dog bite claim process. The legal professionals are happy to help and will do everything in their power to get you the compensation you deserve.