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Dog Bite Prevention Week

Posted on: May 26, 2015

The American Veterinary Medical Association has worked to raise awareness about the dangers of dog bites. Because of their efforts, there is a week of awareness from May 17-23 known as National Dog Bite Prevention Week. Corporations like State Farm Insurance Company and other members of the National Dog Bite Prevention Coalition have joined together to help educate people about the dangers and prevention methods of dog bites. The concept of prevention week hinges on the fact that most dog bites are preventable.

Where Do Dog Bites Happen?

As State Farm is a proud supporter of education about dog bite prevention, their research often influences the education portion of the initiative. One such report indicated the top 15 states with the highest amount of dog-related injury claims and the amounts paid. Keep in mind that all cases have varying levels of severity, which will ultimately affect the dollar amount. In 2014 the state with the highest number of dog bite claims was California; in California there were 445 claims made and $16,185,647 paid in compensation. Maryland came in at number 12 with 62 claims made and $3,076,938 paid out to victims. In 2014 State Farm paid about $115 million as a consequence of 3,500 claims for a dog-bite related injury. Over the last five years this one single North American insurance company has paid $528 million for claims resulting from dog bite accidents.

Which Dogs Bite?

While the fact of the matter is that all dogs bark, there are clearly correlations between certain dog breeds and their tendency to bite. One report, detailing dog bites and attacks from 1982- 2014, showed that pit bulls caused injury to 3,397 people, 1355 of which were children. There were an additional 2,110 maimings and 295 deaths resulted from an attack. Compare this to the next closest breed, the Rottweiler, which has a reported 27 maimings and 26 deaths resulting.

The study found that when pit bulls or Rottweilers have a bad moment or are agitated, they are much more likely to maim or kill a person rather than simply bite in defense. Pit bulls are also known to attack adults and children at almost an equal rate, which is unusual for an animal that generally attacks children much less frequently; this is only seen elsewhere in bullmastiffs and presa canarios.

What Happens After a Bite?

Most dog bites are treated in the emergency room shortly after the incident occurs. A concern over infection or damage from an unknown dog brings most people to seek medical attention pretty quickly. In 2008, about 316,200 emergency room visits were related to a dog bite. This accounts for about 104 per every 100,000 members of the population. About 9,500 patients admitted to the hospital were admitted after a dog bite. When you have suffered from an aggressive dog’s behavior it is important to hold the owner accountable. If there is no report made and no action taken, the dog can just as easily continue to attack others. By law you are entitled to seek compensation from a dog owner whose pet attacks. If you have suffered a dog bite contact the team at our law firm today for a free consultation.

Justin Katz is a personal injury lawyer who represents injury victims in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC
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