Dogs are known for being man’s best friend, but that is mainly true only when the man or woman is the dog’s owner. Some dogs can be vicious toward strangers, or even friends and family members. Nearly one in every five people bitten by a dog requires medical attention, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition to the pain, injury, and nerve damage they cause, dog bites can lead to serious infections, placing victims at risk for serious illness or death.
Dog Bite Statistics
- Approximately 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs in the U.S. every year, as stated in the Canine Journal.
- 800,000 of those dog bites require medical attention.
- One out of every 69 people in the U.S. is bitten by a dog.
Dog Bites In Children
According to the CDC, children are more likely than adults to be bitten by a dog. When they are bitten, their injuries are likely to be more severe. As stated in an article from John Hopkins Medicine:
- Up to 10% of dog bites in children require sutures.
- 5% to 10% result in infections.
- 30% cause disability.
- 50% result in scarring.
- Less than 1% are fatal.
Diseases from Dog Bites
CDC reports that more than 60 different types of bacteria have been found in dogs’ mouths. Dog bites can cause serious diseases, including the following:
- Rabies: This is a virus that affects the brain and is almost always fatal when symptoms appear. The rabies virus is spread through the bite of an infected animal.
- MRSA: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a type of staph infection that is resistant to certain kinds of antibiotics. Dogs and other animals carry MRSA. In humans, it can spread to the lungs or bloodstream and cause life-threatening infections.
- Tetanus: This toxin is produced by a certain type of bacteria and causes rigid paralysis in humans. Tetanus can be a problem with deep dog-bite wounds.
Which Dog Breeds Are More Likely To Bite?
The Canine Journal reports that the following dog breeds bite the most:
- Pit Bull
- German Shepherd
- Australian Shepherd
- Lhasa Apso
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Cocker Spaniel
- Bull Terrier
Dog Bite Laws In New York
New York uses a combination of strict liability and negligence for bites and other injuries caused by dogs. The owner of a dangerous dog is liable if the dog causes injury to another person, to livestock, or to the companion animal (service dog) of another person. A law enforcement dog carrying out its duties cannot be treated as a dangerous dog. A dangerous dog is defined as one that:
- Attacks and injures or kills a person, farm animal, or pet without justification; or
- Behaves in a manner that causes a reasonable person to believe the dog poses a serious and unjustified imminent threat of serious physical injury or death.
Dog owners are strictly liable for all medical expenses resulting from injuries caused by a dangerous dog. This is true even if the dog owner has taken reasonable precautions to restrain or control the dog. To recover property damage and other types of damages in a dog bite injury case, the injured person typically must prove that the dog owner was negligent.
Get Legal Representation for Serious Dog Bite Injuries
Severe dog bites may require extensive medical treatment, particularly when children are the victims. If you or your child has been bitten by a dog, it is in your best interests to speak with an experienced NYC dog bite lawyer as soon as possible. Call our well-regarded personal injury team, also known as The Case Handler, at 212-203-4795 for the dedicated legal representation you need in a dog bite case.