We are a country who loves our canine best friends, but in 2015 there were 34 dog bite-related fatalities nationwide…not injuries…fatalities. What can we do about it? This article will deal with precisely that question.
More dog bite statistics
Annual data from 2015 shows that 41% (14) of dog bite fatality victims were children ages 9-years and younger, and 59% (20) were adults, ages 22-years and older. Of the total adults killed by canines in 2015, 65% (13) were ages 60-years and older.
Here are a few more interesting dog bite stats:
- From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Over 4.5 million Americans bitten annually. The CDC also reports that one in five such bites require medical attention.
- Texas led all states in lethal dog attacks in 2015 with 5 deaths. Florida and Oklahoma each followed incurring 3 deaths. Arkansas, California, Michigan, New York, North Carolina and West Virginia each followed with 2 deaths.
- From the Insurance Information Institute: Dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid out in 2015, costing more than $570 million.
- From the CDC: Dog bites occur every 75 seconds in the United States. Each day, over 1,000 citizens need emergency medical care to treat these injuries.
- From the American Society of Plastic Surgeons: In 2015, more than 28,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs.
How to prevent dog bite injuries to your children and yourself
Here are a few tips to prevent dog bite injuries to your children and yourself.
- Do not assume that just because a dog is small that it won’t bite.
- Be sure your children know the “when, how or ifs” when seeing or meeting a dog.
- Before petting a dog that is not yours, let it sniff your closed fist. An open hand may be perceived as aggression. Pet the neck or chest of the dog, but not the top of its head.
- Do not engage a dog while it is eating, playing with a toy, taking care of its puppies, or while they are sleeping. These human behaviors can be seen as frightening and may cause the dog to react defensively.
- Keep your distance from stray dogs or those that may be a neighbor’s pet.
- If approached by a stray or loose dog, stand still and do not run. Let the dog sniff you. It will soon lose interest.
- If your child is knocked down by an unfamiliar dog, he or she should roll up into a ball, with knees tucked into the stomach. Fingers should be interlocked behind the neck to guard ear and neck bites should the dog attack.
- When meeting a new dog, give it space. Don’t go into its space. Let the dog approach you and turn to the side to appear less threatening.
- Don’t stare into its eyes.
- Know that yawning or licking can be a sign of a dog’s anxiousness and proceed with caution.
Arkansas dog bite laws and dog bite attorneys
In Arkansas, the owner of any dog or domestic animal that bites someone is usually the person held responsible for the injury. Consequently, the bite victim is entitled to receive compensation for it. If the owner is a minor, the parents or guardians may be held to be the responsible parties. However, should someone trespass on the owner’s property or provoke the animal to attack, the animal owner may not be held liable. To be safe, I recommend that homeowners carry premises liability through their homeowner’s insurance policy.
If you, your child, or a family member was injured because of a dog bite, give me a call so we discuss a potential personal injury claim. All consultations are free.
I would appreciate it if you would share this article so that others can benefit from the information. Thank you.
For other areas of personal injury law, please see my other articles at http://blog.petermillerlaw.com
If you have any questions about this article or any area of personal injury law, please refer to the contact info below.
The Law Offices of Peter Miller
1601 S. Broadway
Little Rock, AR 72206
The content of this blog was prepared by the Law Offices of Peter Miller, P.A. for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or provide legal advice. Laws differ by jurisdiction, and the information in this blog may not apply to you. You should seek the assistance of an attorney licensed to practice in your state before taking any action. Using this blog site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Law Office of Peter Miller, P.A. Attorney-client relationships can only be created by written contract.
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