Examining Dog Bite Injury Statistics

Aug 10, 2017 @ 09:30 AM — by Scott Sumner

Dog Bite Incidents Occur in the USSometimes dogs bite to protect themselves, their puppies, or their owners. Other times they bite because they are scared, stressed, or not feeling well. No matter the reason, dog bites are a common and troubling problem. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately four and a half million dog bites take place in a given year in the United States, about 20 percent of which become infected. This is just a sample of the many alarming dog bite injury statistics.

In California, dog owners are liable for dog bites as soon as they take ownership of the dog. However, there are scenarios in which other parties may be responsible for damages. For example, property owners may be liable for dog bites that occur on their premises. Attorney Scott Sumner, serving San Francisco, CA and San Jose, CA, is one of the top attorneys in the Bay Area. He has more than a quarter century of experience advocating for dog bite and other injury victims.

Dog Bite Statistics

Often, dog bites cause permanent scarring and disfigurement. Sometimes they affect mobility. The true impact of dog bites can perhaps be best illustrated through statistics. Here are some alarming and important dog bite facts and statistics:

  • Roughly 4.5 million dog bites happen each year
  • 20 percent of dog bites become infected and require medical attention
  • Dog bite fatalities have increased over the past few decades
  • 31 dog-bite fatalities were recorded in 2016, 22 of which involved pit bulls
  • Pit bull breeds are more than two and a half times likely than other breeds to bite multiple anatomical locations
  • Nearly one in three dog bite injury deaths were infants. 42 percent were children 9 years old and younger
  • Most often, dogs who bite have not been spayed or neutered
  • Nearly 7,000 United States Postal Service employees were attacked in 2016
  • Approximately 28,000 bite victims underwent reconstructive surgery in 2015
  • There is a five times greater chance that adults with two or more dogs will sustain a dog bite than those living without dogs
  • Over the past three-plus decades, dog bites have increased. Between 1993 and 2008, dog bite hospitalizations increased by 86 percent
  • In California, emergency room visits for dog bite treatments increased by more than 3,000 between 2010 and 2015

Preventing Dog Bites

Even well behaved dogs that have never previously displayed aggressive behavior can attack if provoked. While preventing dog bites is not always possible, there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood you are victimized, including:

  • Do not run or make loud noises when approached. Instead, remain motionless and avoid eye contact
  • Do not disturb a sleeping or eating dog
  • Do not disturb a dog caring for her puppies
  • Allow a dog to smell your hand before attempting to pet it
  • Do not encourage aggressive behavior even in playtime

Contact Attorney Scott Sumner

Attorney Scott Sumner will fight on your behalf if you have suffered a dog bite attack. He will pursue maximum compensation to cover your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. To learn more, contact us online or call (925) 278-6170 today.

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