Dogs can be loyal best friends; we get so close to them that they’re truly like furry family members. However, dogs are still animals, and sometimes, they attack. When they do, the results can be devastating deadly even. And it seems that some dogs are more apt to become dangerous than others.
According to the CDC, there is one dog bite roughly every 75 seconds in our country, and more than 1,000 people a day need emergency treatment due to dog bite injuries.
Back in the 90s, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) analyzed deadly dog attacks in the U.S. that occurred over a 17-year period starting in 1979 and ending in 1996. During that time, the pit bull was the most frequently involved dog when a deadly dog attack occurred, with the breed being responsible for 60 fatal attacks. The second- and third-most dangerous dogs identified by the CDC, the Rottweiler and German shepherd, couldn’t touch the kills of the pit bull even combined, with 29 and 19 fatalities respectively.
Fast forward to 2018 and the same dog breeds are still counted among the most dangerous the ones most likely to be involved in a fatal attack. DogBite.org compiled a fatality report to identify the dog breeds most often involved in dog attacks between 2005 and 2017. Over the 13-year-period that was the focus on the report, pit bulls continued to be responsible for most fatal dog attacks, account for 66 percent of all attacks where the death occurred, or approximately 284 people. Considering only roughly 7 percent of all dogs are pit bulls, that’s a significant statistic. Rottweilers came in second again with 45 fatalities, and German shepherds were third-most dangerous in the new time period, with 20 fatalities resulting from attacks by the breed.
The cost of dog bites and dog-related injuries to the insurance industry is significant. According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites and other injuries caused by dogs accounted for more than one-third of liability claims in 2017, coming at a price tag of around $700 million. And unlike dog bite claims of the past, the cost per claim has significantly increased over time, due largely to increased cost of medical care and the size of jury awards, judgments and settlements. Since 2003, average claim cost has gone up by 90 percent. The rate of hospitalization due to dog bite injuries climbed 86 percent between the years 1993 and 2008, with the average cost of each stay hovering around $18,000, which is twice as much as most injury-related hospitalizations.
Still, the cost to the dog bite victim is much greater. Attacks often leave behind injuries that require long-term care and that cause disfigurement. In 2015 alone, nearly 30,000 people had to endure reconstructive surgery to treat their dog bite injuries. Financially, dog bites take a huge toll on victims too, with JAMA estimates that victims experience a combined monetary loss of as much as $2 billion per year due to their injuries, time lost from work, cost of care, and so on.
If you or someone you love has been affected by a dog attack, Compass Law Group is here to help. Schedule your consultation with our Los Angeles dog attack attorney now to discuss your case and learn how you can receive compensation for your injuries.