Dog bites account for a surprising number of visits to the hospital. In fact, dog bites occur every 75 seconds and over 1,000 Americans require emergency medical treatment every day due to a serious dog bite injury. Each year, almost 10,000 US citizens are hospitalized due to dog bites. The average cost of a hospital stay resulting from a dog bite injury is $18,200, 50% more than the cost for other injuries. It is estimated that dog attacks cost the American people over $1 billion every year. For that much money, it’s definitely worth having an understanding of dog attacks by speaking with a Sacramento dog bite injury lawyer.
Since the mid 1980’s, when pit bulls began entering the general population, over 1,000 US cities have implemented breed-specific laws. It may seem unfair that specific breeds are regulated due to what may seem like a species-wide problem, but statistics show there are certain breeds with a much higher tendency towards aggressive behavior.
Pit bulls have long been subject to these rules and regulations, and many individuals feel they have been unfairly targeted. Just recently, the city of Montreal passed a ban on acquiring pit bulls and fines and regulations for current owners. This resulted in public outcry in both Canada and the US. Many claimed it was a baseless ban based on “how a dog looks.” Unfortunately, as we will see below, it may not be so unfounded.
The below information is based on a far-reaching data analysis from information regarding dog attacks, deaths, and maimings in the US and Canada from September 1982 to December 2014. Attacks by police dogs, guard dogs, and dogs specifically trained to fight are not included in these statistics. “Maiming” indicates an attack resulting in permanent disfigurement or loss of a limb. “Attacks doing bodily harm” includes fatalities, maimings, and other injuries requiring extensive hospital treatment. If you or someone you know has suffered severe injuries due to a dog attack, speak with a Sacramento dog bite injury lawyer immediately.
The following table lists dog breeds by the number of attacks. The column furthest to the right shows the percent of each breed in the general population. This is an important figure, because it puts into context the number of attacks. For example, if pit bulls were 50% of the dog population, the outright number of attacks by that breed would be less significant.
As is obvious, pit bulls are responsible for a huge number of attacks on humans. They only make up approximately 6% of the total US dog population, but constitute over six times the number of attacks than the next breed on the list. This is hugely disproportionate and speaks volumes as to the breed’s violent tendencies. It is also worth noting that most breeds have a tendency to attack children more frequently than adults, with the exception of pit bulls and similar breeds.
Though one may feel it is less acceptable for a dog to attack a child than an adult, it is important to recall the way in which these two groups differ in their behavior with animals. Children are much more likely to play with dogs generally, have less understanding of a dog’s body language, and are more likely to behave in a manner that upsets or frightens a dog. They also are smaller and less intimidating and thus are easier targets. As a parent, it’s important to be aware of these different behaviors and take proactive measures accordingly. Speak with a Sacramento dog bite injury lawyer if your child has been attacked or if you want to learn more on how to prevent an attack.
The distinct pattern of pit bulls, bull mastiffs, and boxers to attack adults and children alike shows a diminished inhibition for attacking a victim that may attack back. Pit bulls and bull mastiffs are also known to attack seemingly without warning, and it doesn’t help that pit bulls are often without a full tail with which to communicate.
Comparatively, German shepherds, wolf hybrids, and huskies exhibit the opposite attack pattern. German shepherds are herding dogs, and thus have an extremely strong protective instinct. They have three distinct bites: the guiding nip; the grab-and-drag; and the reactive bite. The first two of these are used to herd sheep and to navigate pups, and are often misconstrued and result in more damage than intended. The reactive bite is usually after several attempts to communicate the dog’s intent such as by growling and barking.
Though specific breeds may be responsible for a higher proportion of reported attacks, this does not mean every animal of that breed is inherently bad or violent. It is important not to generalize and to realize that personalities and environment have an effect on a dog’s temperament.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite, you may be entitled to compensation. The best way to increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve is to contact a professional and knowledgeable Sacramento dog bite injury lawyer as soon as possible. The Weinberger Law Firm has the resources and expertise to aggressively litigate your case in court. Give us a call now at (916) 357-6767 for a free consultation.