How Common Are Dog Attacks In The United States?

It can be hard to imagine your dog ever biting someone. But you may be surprised at just how common dog bites are in the United States.  Even if the dog was raised and trained in the proper fashion, any dog can act out and cause a dangerous dog bite.

There are a lot of dogs in the United States. That means that, even if only a few dogs bite people, the number of cases adds up quickly. It’s estimated that over 1,000 people go to the emergency room every day due to a dog bite.  And over the course of a year, there are over 4 million cases of dog bites in the United States alone.

The Cost Of A Dog Bite

Although there are millions of dog bites every year in the United States, most of these cases are fairly mild, and don’t require immediate medical attention. However, there’s still a large number of cases where the injuries from the dog bites are much more severe.

Severe injuries means expensive medical bills.  The cost of medical treatment in the USA and Michigan is at an all time high and this can easily cause a major financial burden to the victim.  In most cases, these dog bites could have been prevented and are usually the fault of the owner.  Dog bites are estimated to cost billions of dollars per year. And there are over $500 million worth of homeowners insurance claims every year.

Dog Bites In Michigan

Like in most of the United States, dog bites are quite common in Michigan. In fact, Michigan ranked 8th in 2016 when it came to the frequency of dog bites.

With dog bites come insurance payments. In 2016, there were over $20 million worth of claims in the state of Michigan alone. There were 782 claims filed, meaning over 2 per day. And these numbers appear to be increasing every year.

Fatalities Related To Dog Bites

Very few of the 4.5 million dog bites that occur every year in the United States are fatal. However, there are some cases where the injuries stemming from the bite can be life threatening, and there are some that lead to death.

some dog breeds are more dangerous than others, but it’s important to remember that almost any dog is capable of inflicting a bite.  That being said, only some breeds are capable of causing fatalities, an of these pit-bulls lead to the most deaths simply because of their sheer size and power. From 2005 to 2017, pit-bulls were responsible for killing 284 people, far more than any other breed of dog.

It should be emphasized, however, that the aggressiveness of pit-bulls is often the fault of their owners. In addition to causing the most injuries, pitbulls are the most commonly abused of any dog breed. This abuse and neglect tends to make the dogs more violent and aggressive.

What Makes Dogs Attack?

The statistics presented so far might make you think that dogs are very likely to attack. However, keep in mind that most dogs do not bite, and that only a small proportion of dogs will ever cause a serious injury.  However, there are many risk factors that can increase the chances that a dog will bite. Here are some of the main reasons dogs will bite:

  • They feel threatened by your behavior
  • The dog has been abused or neglected
  • The dog gets too excited while playing
  • The dog is protecting its owner
  • The dog feels stressed and is lashing out

Dogs are also much more likely to bite if you are intruding in their space, or on the property of their owner. And putting your face right in front of the mouth of someone else’s dog can be dangerous. The dog will not recognize you, and may take your invasion of their space as a threat.

Which Breeds Are Responsible For The Most Attacks?

Many breeds have unfair reputations for being aggressive and dangerous. However, there is a difference between breeds when it comes to the number of dog bites per breed.  Because some breeds are so often found on home insurance claims, certain insurance companies will refuse to cover certain dog breeds, or charge you significantly more.

Here are some of dog breeds most often involved in dog bite incidents:

  • Pitbulls
  • German shepards
  • Chihuahuas
  • Australian Shepards
  • Bulldogs

Again, it’s important to remember that the biggest risk factor for a dog bite is not the dog breed, but how the dog is raised. There are plenty of peaceful pitbulls and many mean poodles. Most dogs are violent due to neglect and abuse.

The Most Common Bite Areas

When dogs go to bite, they often try to cling on to limbs, as these are the easiest areas for them to reach. Most of the dog bites that occur to the head or face are due to the victim leaning in front of the dog.  Most dog bites occur because dogs escape from their owner’s property. And although popular perception blames stray dogs for many incidents, most dog bites are caused by dogs with owners.

What You Can Do After A Dog Bite

If you’ve been injured by a dog bite in Michigan, you may be able to seek damages for your injuries to cover medical expenses and lost income. You should reach out to an experienced Michigan dog bite attorney to help you prepare your case.  Our attorneys have experience helping victims of a dog bite and collecting the compensation that they deserve.  Contact us for a free consultation and we will discuss the details of your case.  We will give you our honest legal opinion and inform you of the options you have available to see.  We charge no fees unless you win your dog bite case!