Each year, roughly 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States. About 20 percent of dog bite victims require medical attention after being bitten. Half of those who are bitten and half of those who require medical attention are children. Of those who were injured in 2012 by a dog bite, over 27,000 had to undergo reconstructive surgery.
Children between the ages of 5 and 9, adult men and those who have a dog in their house are the most likely to suffer from a dog bite. In fact, those who have two or more dogs in their home are five times more likely to suffer from a dog bite compared to those who do not have own a dog. Fortunately, there are several steps that can be taken to reduce the incidence of dog bites.
First, it is important to look at the body language of a child when he or she is around dogs. A child that is fearful or apprehensive around a dog should be kept away from that dog. If there is a toddler or young child in a home, that home may not be suitable for a dog. Prior to buying a dog, it is recommended that the potential owner spend time with it. Neutering a dog may help to reduce or eliminate some or all of its aggressive tendencies.
Those who are bitten by a dog may be able to take legal action against the owner of the dog or the owner of the property where a dog bite occurred. Dog bite victims may be able to win compensation for their medical bills as well as long-term care costs. Anyone who is taking legal action may want to do so with the help of a personal injury attorney.
Source: CDC, “Dog Bites“, December 10, 2014