Dog Bite Quick Facts

  • Children are more likely to be bitten than any other segment of the population
  • More than 40 percent of severe bite victims are children under age 11
  • More than half of all children will be victims of a dog bite by the time they reach age 12
  • Annually an estimated 5 million dog bites occur nationwide
  • Dog attacks account for one-third of all liability claims on homeowners’ insurance policies. According to the Western Insurance Information Service, the insurance industry paid out more than $1 billion in dog-bite claims.
  • There are approximately 4.5 million reported dog bites annually in the United States (nearly 2 % of the American population). The majority of dog bites are never reported to local authorities.
  • Dog bites to people of the male gender are approximately two times greater than the incidence involving females.
  • Dogs that are licensed with an identifiable owner are implicated in the vast majority of dog bites (when compared with strays).
  • Dogs not known to the victim account for approximately 10 – 20% of all reported dog bites.
  • Dogs between one and five years are involved in more dog bite incidences than dogs older than 6 years. Male dogs are more frequently involved when compared with female dogs.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention document that a chained dog is 2.8 times more likely to bite than an unchained dog.
  • Canines not spayed or neutered are three times more likely to bite than sterilized ones.
  • The majority of dog bites to people are inflicted to the lower extremities followed by bites to the upper extremities including the head, face and neck.
  • Ten to 20 people die every year as a result of dog bites in the U.S. By far, the majority of the victims are children.
  • The breeds most often involved in fatal attacks are Rottweilers and Pit bulls

In most states a victim can recover compensation from a dog owner because of the state’s “dog bite statute.” Generally, dog bite statutes make a dog owner responsible for all bites, even if the dog never bit anyone before. The fact that a dog does not have prior attacks, or that the owner has no awareness of a dog’s viciousness is not determinative in a Dog Bite lawsuit.

Sometimes a victim can recover compensation from people who, at first glance, might appear to have little to do with the dog. For example, a landlord might be liable if he knows that a tenant keeps a dog that bites people, provided that the landlord has the legal power to get rid of the tenant. Or a day care center might be liable for permitting someone with a large, aggressive dog to allow it onto the premises.

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