When you’re walking through your neighborhood or along an unfamiliar street, the sound of a big dog barking or growling can be startling for anybody. If you see that the dog isn’t properly restrained by a leash or fence, the sight can be frightening. That’s if you see the dog coming at all. Oftentimes, when a dog attacks, all you see before the sharp teeth sink into you is a blur of motion out of the corner of your eye.

Like any New Yorker, you know dog bites happen, but it may surprise you to learn how common the bites really are. On average, an estimated 1,000 Americans need emergency treatment for serious dog bites each day, and about 4.5 million dog bites happen every year in the United States.

Any breed of dog can bite, and how the pet is raised has a lot to do with their temperament. However, certain breeds are more statistically likely to cause serious injury. According to a study, compared to all other dog breeds, pit bulls are 31% more likely to attack a stranger and 48% more likely to strike without provocation.

Dog bites can range from no big deal to critical and even fatal, but even minor injuries can quickly worsen. Almost one in five dog bites becomes infected, and canines can carry several concerning diseases, such as rabies. When dogs attack, they can bite multiple areas of the body, often going for a person’s limbs, neck and face. Almost 27,000 people got reconstructive surgery after being bitten by dogs in 2018.

The legal help you need

If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog bite, you deserve to hold the dog’s owner responsible for the attack if possible. It’s important you speak to an experienced Staten Island attorney who can help you understand your rights and pursue compensation to alleviate your suffering. A skilled attorney can ensure you get the fairest treatment possible under New York law.