There are serious, sometimes fatal dog bite attacks in the United States each day. If you are a dog bite victim, you may able to eligible to receive compensation for your injuries. To maximize the amount that you recover, contact the experienced dog bite attorneys and GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
GWC can help you achieve a successful outcome for your dog bite claim. Call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here at any time to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with one of our Rockford dog bite lawyers.
Dog Bite Statistics in the United States
Even a brief look at the statistics on dog bites in the United States reveals the frequency and severity of these types of incidents:
- About four million people across the country are bitten by dogs each year, though only one-quarter of these attacks are ever reported.
- Almost one million dog bite victims receive medical treatment per year.
- Over 334,000 patients are treated in emergency rooms for dog bites annually.
- Every year, approximately 12 to 15 people die from dog bite infections and other related problems.
- More than half of dog bite victims are children.
Dogs can attack in virtually every situation:
- 25 percent of dogs attack while they are chained;
- 25 percent of dogs are unsecured in their yards when they attack;
- 23 percent of dog attacks occur inside the home;
- 17 percent of dogs are roaming off their properties at the time of an attack; and
- 10 percent of dogs attack while they are leashed or in miscellaneous circumstances.
When dogs attack, children and the elderly are the most likely to be killed:
- 79 percent of dog bite fatalities are age 12 or younger;
- 12 percent of are over age 65; and
- 9 percent are between the ages of 13 through 64.
What Dogs Are Most Prone to Attack?
While you can never be sure when a dog a will attack, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that these are the most dangerous breeds of dogs:
- Pit Bulls
- Doberman Pinschers
- German Shepherds
- Alaskan Malamutes
- Saint Bernards
- Great Danes
As counterintuitive as it might seem, bigger dogs are actually less likely to bite than smaller ones, but many small dog owners do not take appropriate steps to monitor their pets’ behavior because they do not realize the risk they may pose.
But whatever the size or breed of a dog is, there are some key trends you should keep in mind about dog attacks:
- Attacking dogs are disproportionately males that have not been neutered.
- Dogs that have been mistreated or trained to attack are usually more likely to bite.
- Generally, it is the dog’s owner who is most responsible for its aggressive behavior.
- A responsible owner, on the other hand, can prevent a dog from acting violently by treating it with love and respect.
- Nonetheless, you should never leave a dog alone with a small child because this risky situation is the cause of 95 percent of all childhood deaths.
Keeping Children Safe from Dog Bites
Because children are the most frequent victims of dog bites and the ones who are most likely to die from them, it is absolutely essential to do everything possible to keep them from harm. Though we can never fully predict when or if a dog may attack, we can convey to them how important it is to be careful around dogs. Children should never:
- Hug or approach a dog from behind;
- Stare directly into the eyes of a dog;
- Try to kiss a dog’s face;
- Pull or grab parts of a dog’s body; or
- Touch a dog’s bowl when it is eating.
Children should be taught to get permission from a dog’s owner before they pet or touch it. Even then, children should always offer their hands first to give the dog a chance to sniff them.
But even if children follow all of these precautions, they might still encounter a threatening dog. In these situations, children need to remember to:
- Stay calm;
- Not scream;
- Speak firmly but gently;
- Try not to look into the dog’s eyes;
- Avoid turning around or running away; and
- Either remain still until the dog leaves or back away slowly until it is out of view.
If they are knocked down or fall during a dog attack, children should protect themselves by curling into a ball and covering the neck and head with their hands.
How You Can Protect Yourself From a Dog Attack
While children the most vulnerable, anyone could fall victim to a dog attack. To prevent a dog attack from happening, or to protect yourself if one does, follow these key tips:
- If you see a dog when you are out jogging, come to a complete stop and walk past it slowly while avoiding eye contact and sudden movements.
- If you find a dog that is acting confused, has thick drool covering its chest, or is biting at stationary objects, it could have rabies, so keep your distance and alert the police as soon as possible.
- Stand firmly when a barking or growling dog approaches while speaking strong commands such as “Stay,” “Sit,” or “Lay Down.”
- Never fight or argue with a dog’s owner in front of it, as this could provoke an attack.
- Keep your hands low whenever you are near a dog.
- If you are attacked by a small dog, try to repel it by kicking it in the nose or body.
- If you are attacked by a large dog, assume a fighting stance, being sure to maintain your balance and protect your inner body by placing one leg ahead of the other.
- To defend yourself, punch the attacking dog in the nose, kick it in the ribs, or pull and twist its ears.
- Call for help immediately.
- If a dog knocks you down during an attack, curl up into a fetal ball while covering your ears and the back of your neck.
Contact GWC’s Rockford Dog Bite Lawyers Today
Dogs may be “man’s best friend,” but they can become your worst enemy almost without warning. If you have been the victim of a dog attack, you could be eligible to recover compensation for your injuries. To help ensure that you obtain the best results, contact the Rockford dog bite attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
With more than $2 billion recovered in verdicts and settlements, GWC is one of the premier Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firms in Illinois. Our Rockford dog bite lawyers have the experience, the determination, and the reputation of success you need to get you and your family the justice you deserve.
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