Each year, nearly five million Americans are injured by non-fatal dog bites from aggressive dogs. Even if a bite is non-fatal, approximately one million of these bites will go on to become infected and require major medical attention. Nearly every jurisdiction across the U.S. reports the same horrors about the dog bite injury victims that visit their Level 1 Trauma Centers each year.
A dog bite injury can change the course of your life with just a flash of teeth and fur. In this blog, the Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner team will brief you on exactly what kinds of dog breeds to watch out for. We will also provide you with some ways to protect your family in the event of a non-fatal dog bite. Finally, we will discuss how you can be compensated for your injuries and losses if you are attacked by an aggressive dog.
What Dog Breeds Are Likely to Cause a Non-Fatal Dog Bite Injury?
The American Animal Hospital Association has identified several dog breeds as being most likely to cause a dog bite injury. From a victim’s perspective, “unknown breed” always tops the list. Often, this is because victims are in shock, seeking medical care, or are unfamiliar with dog breeds and cannot easily identify the type of dog that bit them.
After that, the dogs most likely to cause a non-fatal dog bite include:
- Mixed breeds,
- German Shepherds,
- Large terriers of any type, and
Remember, individual dogs cause bite injuries, not dog breeds. However, the short, muscular stature and wide heads of pit bulls and some mixed breeds make them likely to cause injury if provoked or threatened.
Should I Watch Out for Any Other Dog Breeds?
Non-fatal dog bite statistics by breed are helpful, but they don’t give a complete picture of which dogs to look out for. Simply because a dog is not a particularly aggressive breed does not mean that the dog is not aggressive or dangerous. In fact, small and medium-sized dogs are nearly as likely to inflict a dog bite injury on you or your child as their larger counterparts. The dogs that rank just below Pitbulls and Rottweilers in terms of aggression include:
- Short-stature mixed breeds;
- Cattle dogs and border collies;
- Beagles; and
- Jack Russell Terriers.
If you have been injured by any of these smaller dog breeds, contact Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner today. Our Washington dog bite lawyers can help.
Who Is Impacted by Dog Bite Injuries?
The rate of dog bite injuries is highest among children ages five to nine years old. In fact, the Humane Society estimates that 51% of all dog bite victims are children.
As a result, all parents should educate their children about how to interact with strange dogs. This includes helping young children to understand the types of behavior that can upset, hurt, or provoke a dog. Children under the age of 10 should understand how to ask a stranger before petting or playing with their dog. They should also be able to identify warning signs that a dog may not be friendly or needs to be handled with extra caution.
However, children are not the only people impacted by dog bite injuries. Many adults are wounded each year by serious, non-fatal dog bite injuries. In up to 70% of cases, the aggressive dog has not been neutered. In addition to the bite being a serious violation of your rights, failing to sterilize or properly care for a dog may be a violation of local ordinances as well. Contact a knowledgeable dog bite attorney today to ensure you can hold the dog’s owner accountable.
Filing a Dog Bite Injury Claim
If you have been the victim of someone’s aggressive dog, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries. But filing a claim in a dog bite injury case can be extremely complex. It may include fighting with the dog owner, their insurance company, and even the owner of the property where the attack happened. Working with skilled Washington State dog bite lawyers can make the process a lot easier.
If the claim is covered by the dog owner’s or property owner’s insurance, the insurer may outright deny your claim for payment. If the insurance company denies liability for your claim, your next step may be filing a lawsuit. If you have to file a lawsuit in a dog bite injury case, you will need to find an attorney who is not afraid to take your case to trial, if necessary. When you retain the Washington State dog bite attorneys at Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner, you have a legal team with over 40 years of combined litigation experience working on your case.
The damages you may be eligible to receive in a non-fatal dog bite case may include:
- Medical expenses;
- Lost wages and future loss of earnings;
- Future treatment, including cosmetic surgery;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Disfigurement or disability; and
- Loss of consortium.
Infections and residual scarring are common with dog bites, which means you may need future treatment. Because of this, damages in dog bite injury cases can be extremely high. Your scars may need continual revision over your lifetime. Do not let an insurance company tell you that you are not entitled to scar revision costs! If you are left with scars after a dog bite attack, an experienced lawyer is your best chance at getting the compensation for pain and suffering that you deserve.
The Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner Difference
We know the best way to build a strong case for a dog bite injury trial. We also understand the physical and psychological trauma that an injury like this can cause. If you or someone you love suffered a non-fatal dog bite, don’t wait to call us. Contact us today to schedule an introductory meeting. We offer free initial consultations, so you have nothing to lose by meeting with our lawyers. Let us put our deep Washington State roots to work for you and help you fight for the compensation you are owed after a dog bite injury.