Dog BiteDog Bites Can Really Leave A Mark

Man’s Best Friend isn’t always as loyal and loving as one may hope. Dog bites on humans are more common than you may think. The CDC reports that there are over 4.5 Million, yes, million dog bites a year. In the United States alone there are over 2,400 attacks on humans each day that require medical treatment, that’s 1 in 5 attacks. That is a scary statistic considering that that number adds up to 885,000 attacks resulting in serious injury each year. Whether you think you’re safe or not, it’s always best to take precautions when approaching a dog that you may not be familiar with or ones that you know have an aggressive history.

If you think about it, the term domesticated animals is almost an oxymoron by definition; animals are supposed to be wild and being wild requires an inherent instinct to survive which in some circumstances can result in aggressive behavior. The first mistake we can make with any type of domesticated animal, dogs particularly, is to approach them as if they pose no threat at all to you as a human, particularly if you are not familiar with them. It also must be noted that children account for almost double the dog bite victims as adults, so always keep an eye on your children when around dogs.

Aggressive Breeds

Just like humans, every dog is different and has a different biological make up which makes it difficult to predict any of their behaviors on a regular basis. While the majority of dogs we have in our homes are loving and non-aggressive to us as humans, there are a couple breeds that stand out statistically as being more aggressive than their relatives, causing injury. These two breeds accounted for 74% of all dog bite injuries in the United states from 2005-2013 according to DogsBite.org; and over 80% of the fatalities from dog bites.

  • Pit Bull Terriers
    • Also known as the Pit Bull, these dogs are the most aggressive breed in the United States. They account for almost 70% of all lethal attacks on humans and the number seems to continue to grow each year. The Pitt Bull has a very aggressive temperament which almost sneakily attacks unsuspected victims and has a grip and shake technique much like some sharks do with their victims. This combined with their dog-fighting breeding gives the Pitt Bull the reputation of a breed to act cautiously around.
  • Rottweilers
    • While Rottweilers statistically only account for about 25% of the injuries as Pitt Bulls do, they do join them in the top ranks of being a dog to remain cautious of. The Rottweiler’s size and guard mentality leaves it with an aggressive attitude and tough to predict.

Risks As A Homeowner

If you are a dog lover, it’s important to know the responsibilities involved with owning a dog, other than taking care of your furry friend. Many insurance companies will deny homeowner coverage to someone that has one of the aggressive breed’s listed above simply because it’s too much of a statistical risk to insure a household where the animal is present.

What Happens If I Am Bit?

If you are bit by a dog, here’s a list of a few things that you want to do:

  • Get Medical Attention For Your Injuries
    • It’s critical that you seek medical attention for your dog bite injuries as soon as possible. Only a small percentage of dog attacks result in death each year (less than 1%); so for the other 99% of the dog bite victims, seeking medical treatment is the most important first step.
  • Contact Your Local Law Enforcement and Animal Control
    • Filing a report is important in order for a proper investigation to take place. Animal control will evaluate the specific case as well as look at any history with that animal or the owners that may show a pattern and if deemed necessary, that dog will be put down in order to protect others from being attacked in the future.
  • Obtain the Dog Owner’s Contact Information and Insurance Policy
    • As noted above, many insurance companies will refuse to insure a homeowner if they carry a specific aggressive breed of dog. Most of the time there is supplemental insurance that will step into play if that is the case, but if not then the owner(s) of the dog will be responsible for any damages that are a result of the dog’s attack.
  • Contact an Attorney For Representation
    • Dog Bite cases can be very complex and frustrating. It’s very important to seek representation if you or a loved one is every attacked by a dog in order to ensure that you are getting the best possible outcome after the attack.

What Types Of Losses May I Be Able To Recover?

  • Direct Medical Treatment
  • Future Medical Treatment
  • Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
  • Lost Wages
  • Loss Of Earning Capacity
  • Physical Pain & Suffering
  • Mental Anguish

At Campbell & Associates, we have over 20 years legal experience handling dog bite cases involving children, adults and attacked animals. We take pride in our connection with our clients and are always here to answer your questions along the way. With convenient office locations in Charlotte, Gastonia, Hickory and Rock Hill, SC we’re never too far away. Our phones are always open, so if you or a loved one has been injured because of a dog bite, call us today at 704-333-0885 or email an injury attorney now for a free consultation.