Owning a dog is fairly common for residents in Missouri and elsewhere. While it is commonplace to see dog owners walking their dogs on the sidewalks and the park and to see dogs contained in their yards, this does not automatically mean that the general public is protected from them. If a dog owner fails to properly secure their dog or guard visitors from a dangerous dog, this could cause liability to be placed on them if a dog bite occurs.
How common are dog bites? According to current statistics, it is estimated that 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States. Furthermore, it is projected that around 1 in 5 of these become infected. Roughly 1,000 individuals in the U.S. visit the emergency department every day for treatment for a serious dog bite. On a yearly basis, around 9,500 victims are hospitalized due to injuries related to a dog bite.
With regards to damages suffered, victims of a dog attack suffer over $1 billion in monetary damages each year, sometimes reaching $2 billion. When an unfamiliar dog attacks a victim, it was found that around 60% of these attacks were caused by a pit bull. The data further suggests that pit bills were more than 2.5 times as likely to bite people when compared to other breeds.
The aftermath of a dog attack or dog bite can be very emotional and overwhelming. Not only did the bite victim not expect to get bit, but they also did not expect to deal with the damages that resulted because of it. Thus, it is important that they take the time to explore their rights and options when it comes to filing a personal injury action, holding a negligent dog owner accountable and seeking damages.