With close to 4.5 million dog bite incidents every year in the United States, approximately 900,000 individuals will require medical attention dealing with injuries due to the attacks. Dog bite injuries are often severe and permanent. Besides resulting in lacerations and scarring, there is a great potential for infection when the dog bite penetrates the skin.
Statistics on dog bite attacks demonstrate that there are 25,000 victims every year across the United States who will require reconstructive surgery. Also, in 2013 there were 31 fatalities related to dog bite attacks. Children between five and nine are the most vulnerable victims to attack, and children will also be the most likely to require medical attention for these injuries.
While prudence may reduce the chances of attack when meeting with an approaching animal, ultimately it is the owners of dogs who are responsible for what occurs. It's up to the owners to know the propensities of their dogs and to keep them away from children when necessary.
Surprisingly, stray dogs are seldom responsible for dog attacks. Instead, dogs most commonly attack their owner and the owner's family members. For this reason, dog owners should take every precaution to make certain dog bites do not occur. Dog owners sometimes need to choose particular dogs most compatible with infants or small children, and they need to take the time to train the animal properly.
At Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law, located in Staten Island, we understand the obligations of dog owners under state and local statute. We also understand the common sense precautions that dog owners should take. Besides making every effort to keep their pets under control, we also need to hold these owners accountable for resulting injuries. Without such accountability, dog attacks will likely not decrease in numbers.