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4 Things to Know About Dog Bites

In General
April 18, 2024
Were You Bitten By a Dog? Here Are 4 Things to Know

Around 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year — and half of the victims are children. 

That’s a lot of bitting from an animal widely viewed as man’s best friend. And it’s not just the big dog breeds. When people think about dogs that bite, they often conjure up frightening images of Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and other canine breeds that can be aggressive.

But some of the biggest offenders are smaller dog breeds. For some of these smaller canines, biting and barking are common. Chihuahuas, Beagles, and Pomeranians, while often considered harmless lap dogs, aren’t shy about biting humans. So, any dog — big or small — can bite.

If you’re ever bitten by a dog while visiting someone’s home, walking around the neighborhood, or playing at a park with your children, get checked out. Most dog bites don’t require trips to the hospital, but it won’t hurt to make a doctor’s appointment to ensure everything’s okay.

Some dog bite injuries are serious enough to warrant pursuing personal injury cases. That’s an option worth pursuing if you face out-of-pocket medical costs.

Consider these four things about dog bites so you’re more careful around man’s best friend.

1. Children Are a Favorite Target for Dogs

According to one source, children bear the brunt of the negative interactions involving dogs and people. It’s bad enough that most dog bite victims are kids, but it’s even more harrowing that close to half of the kids in the U.S. are bitten by dogs at least once by the time they reach 12. 

Kids are often bitten more than adults because of their behavior around dogs. While most adults are more careful when interacting with dogs and can read cues, children may be less likely to observe and interpret signs that a dog is tired, frightened, or nervous. Children who invade a dog’s space and ignore or don’t recognize signs the dog isn’t interested in interacting face higher risks of dog bites. So, kids can stay safe by modifying their behavior around dogs.

2. Hundreds of Thousands of People Require Medical Attention Due to Dog Bites

According to Dogster, 800,000 people seek medical attention due to dog bites. So, there are plenty of dog-human interactions where people are injured seriously enough to require trips to healthcare services providers. Even if there are no physical injuries, dog bite victims often deal with emotional trauma. That’s especially true if the dog bite was unprovoked.

If you’re ever bitten by a dog whose owner you don’t know, it makes sense to see your doctor. The chances of getting rabies are small, but it’s a possibility. A dog bite can subject you to other health problems you’ll want to avoid — so, seeing your doctor makes sense.

3. 30 to 50 People Killed By Dogs Annually

The same source notes that 30 to 50 people are killed each year because of dogs. So, while most people bitten by dogs don’t suffer such a fate, there’s a small possibility that an unfortunate dog-human interaction can result in a fatality. While some of these issues can be prevented with behavior modification, there are aggressive dogs that don’t need provocation to attack.

4. $1.13 Billion Paid Out By Insurance Companies to Dog Bite Victims

Dogster adds that insurers paid $1.13 billion to dog bite victims in 2022. A good personal injury lawyer will help increase your odds of getting compensation for a dog bite. 

Insurers aren’t in the business of paying out money if they don’t have to, so you need a lawyer to build a solid case and get you whatever compensation you’re entitled to.

No one wants to experience a dog bite — especially if they view dogs as man’s best friend. But if this scenario plays out in your life, it pays to know what to do.