Dog bite injuries affect approximately 4.7 million people in the United States annually. Of this population, about 800,000 dog bite victims require medical treatment each year. Most dog bite victims are children, as it is the second leading cause of injury to minors. Dog bite attacks account for one out of three homeowner’s liability insurance claims, which translates into more than one billion dollars in pay-outs annually. Dog bite claims fall under the umbrella of personal injury law, where an injured party has the legal right to seek compensation for injuries caused by another party’s actions or negligence.There are many reasons why a dog bites. Many dog bite injuries occur when a dog is trying to defend or protect his territory, establish dominance over his/her victim, is in a new, unfamiliar, or threatening environment, and when disturbed while eating, sleeping, or coveting a toy or treat. There are several factors that increase the likelihood that a dog will bite. Male dogs bite more often than females, especially those between the ages of one and five.
All breeds of dog bite, though Rottweilers and Pit Bulls perpetrate half of all dog bite related fatalities. Dog bite prevention involves measures taken by dog owners and potential victims alike. Dog owners are most often responsible for dog bite injury consequences; therefore it is important that dog owners reduce the risks that their dog will bite. Owners can do this by altering their animal, training and treating their dog humanely, socializing their dogs to new environments, and obeying all restraint and confinement laws. Potential victims can decrease their risk of dog bite attacks by applying caution to their encounters with unknown, fearful or aggressive dogs. Teaching kids to avoid strange or unknown dogs, and how to properly treat animals can also reduce their chances of becoming dog bite victims. If you are involved in a dog bite incident it is important to first establish if medical treatment in necessary. Gaining pertinent information about the dog, its owner, and any witnesses is also crucial. A dog bite victim may also want to report the incident to local police or animal control authorities. Contacting a dog bite injury attorney can help you discover what your legal rights and options in a case may be. A dog bite attorney can help maximize and protect your interests in a dog bite case.
Dog bite law varies by place and circumstance and also may include a limitation on the time you have to file a legal claim. In general, a dog bite victim has the right to seek injury compensation from any party whose negligence caused the dog bite attack, any party in violation on leash or restraint laws, and any party who knowingly harbors a dog with a history of biting people.