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Date Modified: April 15, 2023

Stats on Fatal Dog Attacks, Aggressive Breeds, and States With the Most Fatalities

Dog bite injuries can be very serious, especially when young children are attacked by large and aggressive dogs. Many times, dog owners fail to realize just how dangerous their pets can be, and the result can be fatal dog attacks.

Who is at fault when aggressive dogs, such as pit bulls attack people and cause serious dog bite injuries? What can innocent victims do to receive the justice and damages they deserve?

These are the question that Michael Ehline and his team of top-rated lawyers at Ehline Law are here to answer. With brutal dog bites, injuries can be life-threatening, so this is not something to take lightly. If you or your loved one has been the victim of a dog bite attack, regardless of the severity of the injuries, this article is for you.

Read on to find out more about dog bite claims statistics in the US, and what you can do to receive compensation.

Important Dog Bite Statistics

There is a bond between humans and dogs that is very strong. Most of us cannot imagine going through life without the companionship of our best friends. However, sadly, dog attack statistics tell a different story.

The number of dog-related injury claims and dog bite fatalities that occur each year is staggering.

These are some dog bite statistics to give you an idea of how serious the situation is:

  • The odds of dying from fatal dog bite injuries is 1 in 118,776
  • Pit bulls account for 66% of all fatal dog attacks
  • In 2021, Texas had the highest number of dog-related injuries and claims but California is usually the State with the most dog bites annually
  • Dogs are the fourth deadliest creatures in the world, behind mosquitoes, humans, and snakes
  • In 86.9% of dog bite fatalities, the victim was alone with no one to assist them
  • In the US alone, we have 89.7 million dogs as pets
  • There are more than 46 dog breeds that are associated with dog bite injuries every year
  • There are more than 4.5 million dog bites every year
  • $796.8 million was paid to cover dog bite-related claims in 2019
  • A staggering 26% of all dog bite victims are less than two years old
  • Medical attention is required in at least 885,000 dog bite injuries annually
  • 9,415 serious dog bites per year require long hospital stays
  • The US witnesses between 30 and 50 fatal dog attacks annually
  • A pit bull is the most dangerous dog breed, according to dog bite statistics
  • 243 victims are bitten by police dogs each year in Indianapolis
  • 87.6% of pit bulls pass the temperament test.

Aggressive Dog Breeds You Need To Look Out For

Pit bull-type dogs have a nasty reputation when it comes to dog bites and fatal attacks.

While the statistical analyses certainly show that this reputation is well earned, there are other dog breeds that also regularly cause serious dog bite injuries.

The following are the dog breeds responsible for the most dog bite deaths in the country:

  • American Pit Bull Terrier (and other types of pit bulls)
  • Wolf Dog hybrids
  • Bull Mastiff
  • Akita
  • Rottweilers
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • German Shepherds
  • Husky
  • Chow Chow.

Large Dog Owners Have a Greater Responsibility

When dog bites happen, there is often a lot of finger-pointing between pet owners and injured victims. Some people find it difficult to accept that their family pet can be responsible for a fatal dog attack.

However, responsible owners know that if you have a large dog, such as a pit bull, you must take measures to prevent dog bites in children or any other victims because the consequences can be severe.

Not just pit bulls but all large dogs require extra supervision because the probability that a dog bite injures someone to the point of death is very high. Pitbull attack statistics often overshadow the dangers posed by other breeds, which is a big mistake.

Breed Specific Legislation

California has special breed-specific laws (BSL) that control how dog owners handle certain breeds to reduce the number of dog bite injuries treated every year.

According to BSL, dogs that are identified as likely to bite, such as pit bulls, are placed on the list and their owners are required to make sure that when the dog is over four months of age it is licensed and spayed.

Which States Have the Most Dog Bite Injuries and Fatalities?

California is the State with the higher incidence of dog bite deaths and injuries, probably due to the high number of pit bulls in the state.

The following is the complete list of statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention on States with high numbers of dog bite fatalities annually:

  • California – 48
  • Texas – 47
  • Florida – 31
  • North Carolina – 22
  • Ohio – 21.

What Makes Dogs Bite?

It is not always the case that a dog bites because it is an aggressive breed. In some cases, responsible pet ownership and understanding what triggers aggressive behavior in dogs can help prevent serious dog bites from happening.

The following are the common reasons why even family dogs may bite:

  • The dog is frightened or anxious
  • Poor dog training
  • Younger children can irritate the dog while playing
  • Dogs attack as a defense mechanism
  • The dog is injured or sick
  • Dogs will attack when trying to defend their family members
  • The dog has a litter of puppies nearby.

Tips For Dog Bite Prevention

Many dog prevention programs sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association are focused on reducing the number of dog bites that occur every year by educating the public on the following tips:

  • Never pet an unfamiliar dog, regardless of the dog’s breed
  • Do not touch a sleeping dog
  • Don’t scream or make frantic gestures.
  • Teasing or surprising a dog must be avoided
  • Don’t run from a dog
  • Never leave a child unattended with any dogs, even if they are family pets
  • If there are puppies present, stay clear of the litter.

Who Are the Common Victims of Dog Bites?

Young children are at the greatest risk of being bitten by dogs. These dog bites often occur when the children are playing with family pets or other familiar dogs.

Even gentle breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers, have been known to bite children while at play.

What Must You Do During Dog Bite Attack?

When an aggressive dog, such as a Pitbull attacks you with its razor-sharp teeth, the experience can be very frightening.

However, if you remember the following tips, you could avoid many emergency department visits or at least reduce the severity of the injuries:

  • If you have something in your hand, such as a sweater, allow the dog to bite that instead of you
  • Let the dog pull the object off, then slowly back away from the area
  • If you fall, protect your chest, neck, and face
  • Call for help

The following are the most common types of injuries due to dog bites:

  • Broken or punctured skin
  • Tissue damage
  • Broken bones
  • Nerve damage
  • Eye injuries
  • Scarring
  • Face injuries
  • Head and neck injuries.

Can I Claim Compensation for a Dog Attack?

Yes, in California, the law allows the victims of dog bites to claim damages from the dog owner in the event of a dog attack.

However, if you are hoping to receive maximum compensation, you will need to have a good personal injury lawyer by your side.

With the help of our experienced attorneys at Ehline Law, you can walk away with damages covering:

  • Medical care bills
  • Lost wages
  • Death of a loved one
  • Pain and suffering
  • Life-long disability
  • Reduction in quality of life.

In Dog Bite-Related Claims, What Happens to the Dog?

The dog attack’s sole responsibility rests on the dog owner’s shoulders. This is why in California and many other States, the dog is not always put down after an attack happens.

Unless the dog is a stray, unwanted, or sick in some way (for example, rabies), the law will look at the particulars of the case before deciding whether putting the dog to sleep is the best option.

Steps To Take After Dog Bite Attacks

Most lawsuits over dog-related injuries depend on the steps victims take in the few days after the attack.

Remember to do the following to maximize your chances of a full recovery as well as winning the case:

  • Seek medical attention
  • Get the details of the dog owner
  • Obtain witness statements and photos of the injuries
  • Report the incident to the police (unreported dog bites do not get compensated)
  • Obtain a medical report
  • Seek the advice and representation of a good personal injury lawyer.

What Dog Bite Settlement Can You Expect?

The severity of the injuries sustained is the most important issue when determining the amount of settlement you will be awarded.

That is why a detailed medical report and pictures of the injuries are required.

In California, an experienced lawyer can help you walk away with anything between $30,000 and $50,000 in compensation.

How Long Does It Take To Claim a Dog Bite in Los Angeles?

There is no fixed amount of time for a dog-related personal injury claim. However, you only need to worry about the statute of limitations on personal injury claims in California, which is two years from the day of the dog attack.

Other than that, a straightforward dog attack case will usually last two to three months.

Victim of Dog Bite Injuries? A Good Lawyer Can Help!

Have you been attacked by a pit bull, German Shepherd, or other dog breeds? You can get compensated for your injuries!

Call Ehline Law today and schedule a free consultation to discuss how best we can help you get the justice you deserve.

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients.
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Michael Ehline

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