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Are Certain Breeds of Dog More Likely to Bite than Others?

A dog attack can leave a victim severely injured. When a dog bite injury puts the victim in the position of having to pay medical bills, lost wages, and other damages, the victim can seek compensation for these damages through a personal injury claim.

It is possible to reduce your chance of being bitten by a dog by taking certain precautions. This is true of every type of accident. One way to reduce your chance of being bitten by a dog is to avoid contact with unknown dogs unless their owners give you permission to interact with them.

Another is to approach dogs slowly and be respectful of their personal space. If you have young children, it is important to discuss dog safety with them to protect them from injuries. Knowing which dog breeds have higher bite rates than others can help you, too, but do not let this knowledge lull you into a false sense of security with other types of dogs. Any dog can bite a victim.

The Top Five Breeds for Dog Bites in the United States publishes data about dog bites in Canada and the United States. The website contains statistics about all the bites, injuries, and victim deaths that occurred between 1982 and 2014. According to this data, the following dog breeds have the highest victim injury and death counts:

5. Bullmastiffs, which have been linked to 111 injuries and 18 deaths;

4. Wolf hybrids, with an injury count of 85 and a death count of 19;

3. Huskies, which have caused 83 injuries and 26 deaths;

2. Rottweilers, with 535 injuries and 85 deaths; and

1. Pit bulls, with 3,397 recorded victim injuries and 295 victim deaths.

Every Dog has the Capacity to Bite

Dogs often bite victims when they are frightened or provoked. Sometimes, a dog’s neurological disorder drives it to do things it normally would not do, like bite a victim.

Dog bite laws vary from state to state. In some, a dog’s owner is liable for a victim’s damages if he or she should reasonably have known that the dog had a capacity for aggression. This is known as a “one bite rule.” In others, no such rule exists and the dog’s owner is liable regardless of the circumstances of the bite. In nearly all instances, a victim cannot recover compensation for his or her dog bite damages if he or she provoked the dog. There are exceptions to this rule for young children.

Work with an Experienced Lawyer

If you or your child are bitten by a dog, seek medical attention for the bite as soon as possible. It is important that you have the wound cleaned out, bandaged properly, and if stitches are necessary, that you or your child receive them in a timely manner. After receiving medical care, contact our team of experienced personal injury lawyers at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. to set up your initial consultation with us.

Published September 14, 2017
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