Approximately 1,000 Americans require emergency medical treatment each day due to dog bite injuries, and an estimated 6,000 dog bite injuries require hospitalization each year. With approximately 4.7 million individuals registering dog bite claims every year, an experienced dog bite lawyer might be inclined to say that certain dog breeds are more likely to bite than others. Animal control supervisor Josh Klumpe begs to differ, however. He asserts that all dogs have teeth and “no breed is more likely to bite than the other”.
A recent report by Dogsbite.org reveals evidence that contradicts Klumpe’s claim. According to the report, between the years 2005 and 2013, pit bulls and rottweilers alone were responsible for an alarming 74 percent of dog bite injuries. During this period, 173 individuals lost their lives to pit bull attacks and in 2013 pit bull attacks caused more fatalities than any other breed. Other breeds that caused a relatively high number of dog bite injuries and fatalities include boxers, mastiffs and German shepherds.
While these statistics may point to the dangers of larger breeds of dogs, it is important to remember that many small dogs cause dog bite injuries as well. Perhaps the reason that they are not recorded in the statistics is that smaller breeds tend to cause less harmful injuries than their larger cousins.
Keeping Yourself Safe from Dog Bite Injuries
An Illinois dog bite lawyer typically sees numerous dog bite cases come across the courts each year. According to Klumpe, many of these dog bite injuries can be prevented with caution and education. In order to protect themselves from becoming victims of dog bites, individuals should be familiar with the signs of a possible attack and know how to react to help prevent serious injuries.
- Dogs who are left alone on a chain or neglected/ abused may be more likely to attack.
- Children should never be left alone with dogs who are unfamiliar. Approximately 81 percent of dog bite victims are children.
- If a dog shows signs of becoming agitated (bearing his teeth, growling or hunching his back) individuals should not run away. Many dogs will instinctively attack if they notice their victim retreating quickly. Instead, it is recommended that individuals calmly back away.
- When an attack is inevitable, victims should attempt to protect themselves from serious injuries as much as possible by covering their neck and face.