Dogs can be our closest companions – in the United States, over 36% of households own at least one dog. But sometimes man’s best friend will bite. In addition to causing pain, injury, or nerve damage, dog bites can become infected, putting the bite victim at risk for illness or in some cases death. The attorneys at Spurgeon Law Firm have handled numerous cases involving injuries due to dog bites. We know far too well the devastating injuries a person experiences after being bitten by a dog and the long uphill road to recovery. We are here to help get your life back on track as fast as possible and make sure you recover from this unfortunate event.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dogs bite nearly 4.5 million Americans every year. These injuries are often severe and sometimes even fatal. In 2017, there were 39 U.S. dog bite-related fatalities. Pit bulls contributed to 74% of these deaths. Pit bulls make up about 6.5% of the total U.S. dog population. German shepherds had the second highest death rate in 2017, inflicting 4 deaths. Between 2005 and 2017, canines have killed 433 Americans. Two dog breeds, Pit Bulls (284) and Rottweilers (45), contributed to 76% (329) of these deaths. The remaining fatal dog maulings were scattered over 35 different dog breeds.
Annual data from 2017 shows that 38% (15) of the fatality victims were children ages eight years and younger and 62% (24) were adults, ages 21 years and older. Of the total adults killed by canines in 2017, Pit Bulls were responsible for 88% (21). Of the 15 children killed by dogs, newborns 2 to 4 weeks old accounted for 27% (4) of all deaths and babies 2 to 20 months old accounted for 40% (6). Combined, these two vulnerable age groups accounted for 67% (10) of all children killed by dogs.
Family dogs inflicted 72% (28) of all dog bite fatalities in 2017; family Pit Bulls accounted for 64% (18) of these deaths. Of the 29 deaths inflicted by Pit Bulls, 62% (18) involved killing a family or household member vs. 41% (12) non-family.
Unsurprisingly, dog bites in Louisiana are so common that Legislators decided to create a code article specifically pertaining to injuries caused by dogs. In pertinent part, LA C.C. art. 2321 provides: “Nonetheless, the owner of a dog is strictly liable for damages for injuries to persons or property caused by the dog and which the owner could have prevented and which did not result from the injured person’s provocation of the dog.” Basically, this law states that a dog owner must take reasonable steps to ensure his dog does not injure another person. If he does not then he is liable for the damage caused by his dog.
Victims of dog attacks often suffer acute damage, which may require expensive specialized medical care treatment. Reconstructive surgery, such as skin grafts, tissue expansion, scar diminishment and nerve repair, often requires multiple procedures over a period of years.
If a dog has bitten you or someone you know, there are some very important steps to take in order to protect the dog bite victim and to identify the liable party.
Spurgeon Law Firm is the Central Louisiana dog bite injury law firm. Let our attorneys at Spurgeon Law Firm help you seek maximum compensation for your dog bite injuries. Contact Spurgeon Law Firm today at 318-224-2222 for a free consultation.
Sources: Pepper v. Triplet, 864 So. 2d 181 (La. 2004). Dogsbite.org Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov)