Known as man’s best friend, dogs have long been loved companions of many a family. Even though most are well-behaved and friendly, there are some instances where a dog may lash out or display signs of general aggression. Usually when this happens, it is because these dogs are raised to be aggressive, sometimes to be protective, sometimes as a means for sport or showing of power. Whatever the reasoning behind a dog’s poor upbringing, there is always the possibility of biting
Dog Bite Statistics
Fortunately, only 20% of dog bites cause actual injury. There were 4.5 million dog bites reported in 2016, and of this number, only 41 resulted in a fatality; that means that 0.00089% of dog bites cause death. In the U.S., each citizen has approximately a 1 in 50 chance of being bit by a dog. When dog bites occur, the hospital stay, on average, costs over $18,000; this is almost twice as much as an average injury-related visit.
Breed Information – Which Dogs are Likely to Bite?
Certain breeds of dogs are more known to be dangerous when compared to others. These are typically larger breeds with powerful jaws and strong muscles. Oftentimes, the breeds deemed to be potentially dangerous are listed by insurance companies as restricted, resulting in residential organizations forbidding the ownership of these breeds or denying home insurance to households entirely. There are approximately fourteen breeds included in the standard list insurance companies adhere to. This list includes: Pit Bulls, Staffordshire Terriers, Rottweilers, Chow Chows, German Shepherds, Presa Canarios, Akitas, Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Wolf-hybrids, Mastiffs, Cane Corsos, Doberman Pinschers, and Great Danes. A dog’s breed, despite the actions of insurance companies and current prejudices, does not necessarily mark the dog as dangerous. Aggressive behavior is more so an effect of environment and training. Safety and communication with the owner should be conducted when interacting with all dogs, no matter the breed.
Why Do Dogs Attack?
There are many reasons a dog may feel the need to bite. One of the main causes is the dog’s need to protect. This usually pertains to an owner or family member, but the dog may also be protecting a toy, food, or bedding. Pain and fear are two other large motivators for dogs to bite. These are natural experiences for both people and animals. If a dog is startled or in an unfamiliar setting, the likeliness for it to become afraid is increased greatly. Many breeds instinctively have a high prey drive due to their respective histories. For smaller children and animals, this can be detrimental as the dog may attack on natural impulse. The other possible explanation for a bite comes specifically when a dog is a mother or father and someone is encroaching upon their puppies. This is more prevalent with the mother, as the father is not always present after birth, but both genders may exhibit protective behavior when they feel their young is threatened.
What types of Injury can a Dog Bite Cause?
Most dog bites affect one or more extremities, simply because these are the body parts that are most accessible—arms, legs, head, and neck especially. Usually, a dog bite is not life-threatening, but some do cause enough damage that the extent is deemed severe. When this happens, there are further consequences to consider regarding the victim’s health. Scarring or disfigurement may occur; untreated lacerations may lead to infections; rabies can be transmitted; bone, tissue, tendon, or nerve damage may ensue; and the victim may experience psychological trauma and the related effects such agony has on their mental health.
What to do if attacked by a dog?
If you or a loved one have been bitten by a dog, it is important to know what actions should follow. Injury and death are matters which should not be handled lightly. Pursuing compensation for a dog bite may prove to be a complicated and exhausting activity. An attorney can help alleviate some of the difficulty this process will likely present. You have likely experienced enough hardship without attempting to navigate the legal procedures and jargon on your own. With Lemberg Law, we ensure you receive what you deserve for the damages you have faced. Victims or their families may be entitled for monetary reimbursement for any of the following:
- Physical pain
- Medical bills
- Home healthcare
- Mental anguish
- Diminished quality of life
- Lost wages
If a dog attacks, who is responsible?
In most cases, a dog bite and the resultant injury will be covered by the dog owner’s insurance policy because the policy is designed to cover any type of accident that takes place on the owner’s property. While this scenario is the most common, there are instances where liability may not be as clear. Some insures will attempt to lessen the value of compensation or delay payments; others might try to deny the claims entirely.
What about the dog’s fate?
There are two different classifications given to dogs involved in a biting incident as the perpetrator of such injury: Vicious and Potentially Dangerous. The main difference between the two, regarding outcome as it pertains to the dog, is that Vicious dogs are euthanized whereas Potentially Dangerous dogs require strict regulation, but are not put down. In classifying these animals, it is important to note which type of injury was caused. In the case of death or severe injury—that which significantly impairs an individual or places them at further risk—the dog is deemed Vicious. Potentially Dangerous dogs, on the other hand, are those who caused injury to a person or animal but not to such a degree that any serious harm was endured. Appeals are allowed when determining whether a dog is to be euthanized and sometimes classifications are not necessary. However, even if the dog is owned by a friend or relative, and you wish no harm to come to the dog, it is vital you always report a bite. It is better to have the dog’s behavior known than to leave someone susceptible to later harm.
I’ve been attacked by a dog. Should I seek a lawyer?
The attorneys at Lemberg Law are familiar with dog bite incidents and possess the know-how to deal with your case, ensuring you receive the best outcome after your involvement with such a haunting experience. We can navigate the legal system and guarantee you are not taken advantage of by the responsible parties. You deserve what you are entitled to and nothing less. We are here to help. Call 855-301-2100 for a free, no-obligation case evaluation today.