Cincinnati personal injury lawyer reviewing Pit Bull Injury and Dangerous Breed Attacks and Deaths
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 4.7 million dog-bite incidents occur in the United States each year. Of those attacks, 800,000 victims will seek medical attention, about half of which are children. Around 386,000 victims will need emergency medical treatment. These injuries are estimated to cost the nation more than $100 million annually.
It is estimated that up to thirty fatalities occur every year due to dog attacks. According to a CDC report on dog-bite fatalities, pit bulls are responsible for more deaths than any other breed.
A report published in the April 2011 issue of Annals of Surgery revealed that “attacks by pit bulls are associated with a higher risk of death than are attacks by other breeds of dogs.” The authors concluded that, “Strict regulation of pit bulls may substantially reduce the U.S. mortality rates related to dog bites.”
The Proven Danger of Pit Bulls
Pit bulls have earned their reputation as vicious dogs. They were originally bred for hunting and attacking large animals like wild boar, for herding livestock and for pit fighting. The term “pit bull” actually encompasses three distinct, related breeds: the American pit bull terrier, the American Staffordshire terrier, and the Staffordshire bull terrier.
Pit bulls make up only 6 percent of the dog population, but they’re responsible for 68 percent of dog attacks, according to research compiled by Merritt Clifton, editor of Animals 24-7, an animal-news organization working in animal-cruelty prevention.
Aggressive Dog Breeds
Most of the vicious dogs in the Ohio are of the same breeds. The following dog breeds have a higher-than-average reported attack rate:
• Pit bull
• Bull Terrier
• German Shepherd
• Cocker Spaniel
• Great Dane
• Saint Bernard
• Doberman Pinscher
Child Dog Bite Risk
Children, specifically aged 5 to 9 years old, are most likely to receive medical attention for dog bites. Anybody, however, can be a risk when a dangerous dog is present. Among children and adults, having a dog in a household is associated with a higher likelihood of being bitten than not owning a dog. As the number of dangerous dogs in the home increases, so does the likelihood of being attacked and bitten.
Ohio Dog Attack Injuries
Thousands of dog bite victims each year need some kind of reconstructive surgery. A five-year study published in 2009 in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal, found that almost 51 percent of the attacks were from pit bulls. Many of the victims are adolescents, under the age of twelve.
The initial physical pit bull injury can also worsen with time. Almost 1 out of 5 dog bites becomes infected. Over 60 different kinds of bacteria have been found in dog mouths, which may cause a few dangerous diseases, including the following:
• Rabies—although getting rabies from a dog in the United States is rare, the virus affects the brain and can be fatal.
• Pasteurella—this bacteria is seen in over 50 percent of infected dog bite wounds. It can cause serious disease in people with a weak immune system.
• MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)—dog bites can cause this type of Staph infection that is resistant to a certain group of antibiotics. MRSA can spread to the bloodstream or lungs and cause life-threatening infections.
• Tetanus—this dangerous toxin causes rigid paralysis in people and can be a problem in deep bite wounds.
Ohio Dog Bite Lawsuits
Most homeowner’s insurance compensates victims for dog bites. According to insurance statistics, dog bites account for a large percentage of American homeowner’s claims.
Attack and pit bull injury victims, and Ohio lawyers, often choose to file suit or settle out of court with the responsible parties. Below are recent examples of dog attacks that will likely result in legal action:
• In June, 2016, a California man was killed in a pit bull attack. Neighbors said they were surprised about the attack because the dog was usually friendly, which raises alarm about any dangerous breed of dog that appears docile, but is always a deadly risk.
• In August, 2016, a Georgia woman was attacked and killed in her boyfriend’s home by pit bull, which had no known history of viciousness or aggression.
• In August, 2016, police arrested the owner of two pit bulls that mauled a 60-year-old woman only feet from her front door. The woman, who was walking her dog, suffered pit bull injury but survived the attack.
Ohio Dog Owners & Pit Bull Injury
In Ohio, state law classifies all pit bulls as “vicious.” Dog owners have a legal responsibility to control their animals from biting and attacking. Owners, with knowledge of a dog’s dangerous nature, can be found negligent if the dog injures a person. Depending on the circumstance of the attack, some owners can be found liable regardless of whether the owner knew the dog was dangerous.
Other parties may also be legally responsible for the behavior of a dangerous dog. For example, a landlord may be held responsible if the pit bull injury or attack occurs on their property.
Ohio law holds dog owners responsible for every attack. Victims of pit bull injury in Ohio may be entitled to compensation from the owner for incurred medical costs, and possibly pain and suffering damages. Victims in Ohio have 6 years from the date of the bite or attack to make a claim. Victims Should contact an experienced Ohio attorney for the necessary legal assistance.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati Catastrophic injury lawyer and Ohio premises liability lawyer. Following a pit bull injury, contact Mr. Lyon at 800.513.2403 for a free consultation.