Waxahachie, TX (Law Firm Newswire) October 24, 2012 – Approximately 4.7 million dog bites occur each year in the U.S.
Nearly 800,000 of these bites require medical attention. More than $1 billion is paid out by the insurance industry each year to address dog bite and dog attack claims.
“Dog attacks can be terrifying and traumatic,” says John Hale, a Waxahachie personal injury attorney. “They can also cause permanent injuries, and even death.”
According to the American Humane Association, approximately 92 percent of fatal dog attacks were caused by male dogs, 94 percent of them unneutered. Additionally, one-quarter of all fatal dog attacks involved dogs that were chained or otherwise secured. In most cases (two-thirds), the victim of the dog bite or attack knew the dog and suffered the bite on their own property, while almost 25 percent of dog-attack-related deaths occurred when a dog was unrestrained and not on its owner’s property.
Many communities now have breed-specific legislation to prohibit the ownership of some dog breeds suspected of having a higher likelihood of attack characteristics, including Pit Bulls and Rottweilers, though any breed of dog is capable of biting and even attacking humans.
Children are particularly vulnerable to dog bites, as they are smaller and considered more likely to interact with a dog without noting cautionary behaviors, or knowing how to take bite precautions. According to the Centers for Disease Control, as of 2009, 50 some percent of reported dog attacks were against children below the age of 12, 82 percent of dog bites subsequently treated in an emergency room setting were for children under the age of 15, and 70 percent of dog attack fatalities occurred to children below the age of 10 years. In all cases, some 65 percent of bites suffered by children occurred to their head and neck.
The number one way to prevent dog bites and dog attacks, according to the American Humane Association, is to educate children about dogs – how to interact with them and when to leave them alone. Do not leave young children alone with a dog. Additionally, neutering male dogs greatly reduces their aggression; unneutered dogs bite people in unprovoked attacks at more than double the rate of neutered dogs. Owners need to socialize their dog to reduce anxiety around other adults, children, and in new environments.
The Hale Law Firm
100 Executive Court, Suite 3
Waxahachie, TX 75165