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Dog Bite Statistics

Aggressive Dog

At our law firm, we believe that safety comes first. We've gathered together these dog bite stats to help you understand more about dangerous dog behavior and how to prevent dog bites. With over 78.2 million dogs in the United States, it's important to understand how over 4.5 million people in the US get bitten by dogs every year.

Unlike drunk driving statistics or other accident stats, there aren't many regulated organizations in charge of gathering dog bite statistics and sharing them with the public. Our law firm has done our very best to collect the most accurate information on dog attacks, dog bite deaths, and more. However, the majority of these statistics have been gathered by individuals and private organizations, so understand that these figures are not always government certified or scientifically obtained.

Finally, it's important to remember that dog bite prevention, first and foremost, comes down to the dog owner. Owners are the ones responsible for following leash laws and other legal restrictions that help keep people safe and stop dangerous dog attacks before they happen. Just because a dog breed is listed in this section doesn't mean they are dangerous. A dog owner's behavior toward his or her dog will determine the dog's personality. If a dog owner encourages aggressive behavior or abuses their pet, the dog will be more likely to attack or bite.

Looking for more statistics? View our accident statistics page.

2012 Dog Bite Statistics

  • There were 165 dog bite claims in Pennsylvania last year. It was the number five state for dog bite insurance claims.
  • Ohio ranked number four with 235 dog bites.
  • California had the highest number of dog bites with 451 claims.
  • Dog bite claims dropped by 1.4% last year, the first decline since 2010.
  • 5,879 postal carriers were bitten or attacked by dogs -- 274 more than in 2011.
  • According to the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, there were 27,752 reconstructive procedures performed to repair injuries from dog bites.
  • According to the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm, dog bites accounted for over 1/3 of all insurance liability claim dollars paid out in 2012.

2011 Dog Bite Statistics

  • There were 31 fatal dog attacks in the United States in 2011, according to DogsBite.org.
  • Over half of the attacks occurred to adults ages 21 and older, while 42% occurred to children 11 years and younger. Of the children killed in dog attacks, 68% occurred to children ages 1 and under.
  • Twelve of the fatal dog attacks involved more than one dog, and two of the attacks involved tethered dogs.
  • Family dogs made up 65% of the fatal attacks. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of the attacks occurred on the dog owner's property.
  • The states that had the most fatal dog attacks in 2011 were California and Texas. Other states with deaths included North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, and South Carolina.

Dog Bite Victim Statistics

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Humane Society of the United States, there are about 4.7 million dog bites every year in the U.S. These bites result in approximately 16 fatalities.
  • Approximately 800,000 people seek medical attention for dog bites in the U.S. every year -- about 1,000 people require emergency care for dog bite injuries every day (according to a study produced by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality).
  • About half of those injured in dog attacks are children. The rate of dog bite accidents is highest for those between the ages of 5-9 (according to the American Veterinary Medical Association).
  • Nearly 2/3 of injuries among children ages 4 and younger are to the head or neck region, because of their height. Injuries are higher for boys than for girls.
  • According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the number of Americans hospitalized for dog bites nearly doubled over a 15-year period. The average cost of a dog bite-related hospital stay was $18,200. There were 4 times as many dog bite-related ER visits and 3 times as many hospital stays in rural areas than in urban areas.
  • In the US, the most frequent victims of dog bite attacks are:
    1. Children
    2. The Elderly
    3. Postal Service Carriers
  • Dog bite victims account for as much as 5% of all emergency room visits in the United States.

CDC Study: Breeds of Dogs Involved in Fatal Human Attacks in the U.S.

The following information is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC reported the following information from a study of breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks from 1979-1998. While the information lists certain breeds of dogs, this data does not indicate that neither the CDC nor Edgar Snyder & Associates supports breed-specific legislation.

  • Approximately 27 people died of dog bite attacks in 1997 and 1998.
  • There were approximately 238 dog bite-related fatalities over the past 20 years. Approximately 25 breeds of dogs were involved in theses deaths; pit bulls and rottweilers were involved in over half of the reported deaths.
  • Nearly a quarter (24%) of the deaths involved unrestrained dogs off their owners' property. Over half (58%) of the deaths involved unrestrained dogs on their owners' property. Approximately 17% of the deaths involved restrained dogs on their owners' property. Less than one percent involved a restrained dog off its owner's property.

Victim of a Dangerous Dog Bite? Our Law Firm Can Help

If you've been injured by a dangerous dog, you already know about the frustrations caused by dog bite injuries. Medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses pile up fast. On top of all this, you need time to focus on your physical and emotional recovery.

Don't let your dog bite injuries get the best of you. The sooner you contact our dog bite law firm, the sooner you can focus all your energy on your successful recovery while we handle the hassles of the legal system. Get in touch with us today by taking advantage of our free legal evaluation.

"Family dog can be Grinch during holidays." Pittsburgh-Post Gazette. November 19, 2013.
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