An American has a 1 in 50 chance of being bit by a dog, and in fact, one of these injuries occurs every 75 seconds. As a result, over 1,000 people require emergency medical care per day. Some injuries are fatal, while many more require costly medical procedures. And this doesn’t even cover the psychological ramifications that persist for years after the incident.
If you’ve ever thought that dog bites “aren’t that serious,” DogBite.org presents the following figures:
- In 2014, loose dogs off their owner’s property inflicted 40% of all fatal attacks, a sharp rise from the last 10-year rate of 24% (2005 to 2014).
- In 2013, over one-third, 38%, of all dog bite fatality victims were either visiting or living temporarily with the dog’s owner when the fatal attack occurred.
- In 2011, adult victims of fatal pit bull attacks more than doubled the number of child victims.
Yet, bite-related injuries aren’t spread evenly across all breeds. Statistics from DogBite.org reveal that pit bulls and Rottweilers are responsible for most. In response, over 700 cities have breed-specific laws banning or significantly restricting pit bulls. Such laws increased in the 1980s, after more pit bulls had to interact with the general public, and now, more than 40 countries have enacted similar legislation, including France, Norway, Spain, Portugal, and Great Britain.
Even with restrictions, however, fatalities related to pit bulls continue to grow:
- 71% of the pit bull fatalities have occurred in the past 10 years; 42% in the past four years; 24% in the past two years.
- In the 3-year period of 2006 to 2008, 18% of all fatal dog attacks occurred off owner property. Pit bulls were responsible for 81% of these attacks.
- By 2017, pit bulls are projected to maul 305 Americans to death since 1998, the year the CDC stopped tracking fatal dog attacks by breed.
- In the 10-year period from 2005 to 2014, pit bulls killed 203 Americans, about one citizen every 18 days.
- In the first eight months of 2011, nearly half of the persons killed by a pit bull were the dog’s owner and primary caretaker.
Even if the victim survives, the injuries are disfiguring, and the care necessary to treat them is expensive. According to DogBite.org:
- In 2012, more than 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs.
- A study published in 2010 showed there were 4 times as many dog bite-related Emergency Department (ED) visits and 3 times as many hospital stays in rural areas than in urban areas.
- Dog attack victims suffer over $1 billion in monetary losses annually. JAMA reports this estimate to be as high as $2 billion.
- A 2010 study showed that the average cost of a dog bite-related hospital stay was $18,200, about 50% higher than the average injury-related hospital stay.
We at Trantolo & Trantolo love dogs and even have a German Shepherd, “Taj,” as our mascot. We do not blame dogs for these bites, but hold owners accountable for training, socialization and control. This is what loving our dogs really means.
If you or a family member was a victim of a dog attack, don’t accept low estimates from an insurance company as you pay off medical debt. Contact Trantolo & Trantolo to have one of our experienced Connecticut attorneys take on your case.