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In the U.S.A. alone, around 4.5 million people fall victim to a dog attack every year and, on average, 1 in 5 bites becomes infected and needs special medical care. In 2018, 27,000 Americans needed reconstructive surgery after a dog bite. Surprisingly, just 1 percent of dog bite victims manage to get compensation for their pain and suffering. Fortunately, dog bite lawyers can reverse the trend and give more and more dog bite victims a voice while holding accountable criminally negligent dog owners.
Crunching the Numbers
According to two decades old CDC statistics, 4.5 million Americans (or 1.4% of the nation’s population) become dog bite victims every year, with more than 300,000 people landing in the ER after a vicious dog attack. This means that nearly 900 people visit the E.R. with a dog-related injury every single day. The most exposed employees are postal carriers, with nearly 6,000 mail men falling victims to dog attacks every year.
Experts estimate that dog bites are the fifth most common cause for an American to visit an emergency room, after car crashes, falls, poisoning, cuts, and environmental causes independent from the victim. Children are the most at risk.
One worrying trend is that the number of dog bite victims has grown exponentially in the U.S.A. over the last three decades, with the severity of the bites worsening over the same time period. For instance, between 1986 and 1994, the number of dog bites that needed medical attention jumped a whopping 36%. What’s more, hospitalizations caused by dog bites skyrocketed 86% and so did hospitalization costs. The most common dog bite victims were either kids aged 5 or younger or seniors aged 65 or older.
In addition, fatal dog attacks nearly doubled between the 1980s and 2012. In the 1980s, dogs killed just 17 Americans per year. In 2012, that number nearly doubled (with 37 dead dog bite victims). And despite the bone chilling statistics, just 1 percent of dog bite victims ever get compensation in a court of law every year. That’s a meager number that dog bite attorneys could work to improve.
Most Dangerous Dog Breeds in the U.S.A.
The most dangerous dog breeds in the United states are pit bulls and rottweilers, with pit bulls being the most deadly (causing 65.6% of deaths over a 13-year period). The next in line are German shepherds (4.6%), mixed breeds (3.9%), and the American bulldog (3.5%).
Figure 1 Dog bite fatalities in the U.S.A. between 2005 and 2017. Image credit: Dogsbite.org
Trauma centers can confirm that pit bulls are the deadliest, and pit bull bites are the most likely to leave victims maimed for life because of the unusual aggression of the attack. Surprisingly, most of the dogs involved in the deadly attacks were at their first known attack. That means that the animals didn’t have a history of aggression known to their owners, which is a prime condition to hold owners liable in the so-called first bite states.
Why Hire a Dog Bite Attorney?
Beside physical scars, almost all dog bite victims are left with irreversible mental scarring like PTSD that they’ll be carrying for life. They’ll always be anxious around dogs for fear of another attack. Especially children and seniors might not even want to leave their homes in the wake of an aggressive dog attack as those two demographic groups face the highest risk of having a horrific encounter with a pit bull.
Ironically, in just 1% of cases, the aggressive dogs’ owners are forced by a court to pay. And those medical bills can quickly add up. One reason so few victims seek justice is that they are too shaken up to even face the dog’s owner. Another reason is that victims live in one bite states where dogs and their owners get a free pass if the dog is at its first offense. And last but not least, most victims do not have the necessary financial resources to last through a dog bite trail. So, they remain silent.
Little do dog bite victims know is that dog bite attorneys can give them a voice. There are specialized lawyers out there who know how to navigate dog bite laws in every state and how to win one such trial to make the ones responsible pay and to possibly remove the aggressive animal from the community. And most of these lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that they won’t charge you a dime before they win the case. There’s absolutely no reason to remain silent after you, a loved one, or your property had to suffer following a dog attack. So, get a lawyer for a dog bite now!