Which breeds of dogs bite the most? The answers vary; though certain breeds make the list again and again. One interesting study conducted by the Colorado news station 9 News reported on its website the results of a six-month investigation involving over 6,500 dogs. The top five list of biters may include a few surprises. They identified Labs, German Shepherds, Pit Bulls, Chihuahuas and Bulldogs as the top five offenders, based on reports from both victims and animal control officers. While Pit Bulls and German Shepherds probably aren’t a surprise, Labs and Bulldogs might be. And we probably think of Chihuahuas (which often weight just a few pounds) as “yappy” and “irritable,” but not truly violent. If someone else’s violent pet has injured you, a child or other family member, the Philadelphia dog bite lawyers at Brotherly Law may be able to help your family receive the compensation it deserves.
And, unfortunately, dog bite claims have increased dramatically in our state too. A 2013 piece in by writer Amy Wolden in the Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News reports State Farm statistics showing that the number of reported dog bites in our state rose 30% over the previous year, from 163 to 197, making Pennsylvania fifth in the nation for reported bites.
Meanwhile, other interesting findings from this Colorado report were that most dog bite injuries were to hands (35%), 23% involved leg injuries. The most severe injuries were often to the arms (15%), as well as the face (19%). Only about four percent were considered “severe,” though many of these cases involved the patient requiring stitches on their arms or face. Some required plastic surgery.
According to a Centers for Disease Control report, over a 7-year period, more than 300 Americans died from dog bites and the largest percentage of these victims were children. Rottweilers were responsible for about half of these deaths. When the CDC tracked results over a 20-year period, among the pure breeds, Pit Bulls topped the list, being held responsible for 66 deaths. Rottweilers accounted for 39 deaths. Other breeds topping the list were: German Shepherds (17 deaths), Husky-type breeds (15), Malamutes (12), Doberman Pinschers (9), Chow Chows (8), Great Danes (7) and Saint Bernard’s (7). Wolf-dog hybrids were responsible for 14 deaths. It should be noted that dogs identified as mixed breeds or where the breed wasn’t known caused 238 fatalities.
Fortunately, Pennsylvania is one of 36 states with a detailed Dog Law on its books. Passed in 1982, this highly detailed, balanced law offers very specific protections for both dog-bite victims and for animals that that have been abused or killed. One very specific clause reads: “The owner or keeper of the dog shall be guilty of the summary offense of harboring a dangerous dog if the District Justice finds beyond a reasonable doubt that the following elements of the offense have been proven…the dog has…Inflicted severe injury on a human being without provocation on public or private property.”
The law also addresses dogs that kill other dogs “without provocation,” have a “history of attacking human beings” when not provoked. And this propensity can be shown by a single incident, rather than a series of attacks, which is required in some states.
Worden’s Philly.com article adds that our state’s dog law “entitles victims to full compensation if the attacking dog had a history of biting.”
If you or a family member is recovering from being bitten or even attacked by a dog, once you’ve received the medical attention you need, consider reaching out to the Philadelphia dog bite lawyers at Brotherly Law. We have a thorough understanding of Pennsylvania’s “Dog Law” and can help you collect evidence, interview witnesses and build a case to get you the compensation you deserve from the owner of the dog or other person responsible for the animal that bit you. We will also work hard to earn compensation for your pain, suffering and reduced quality of life. Call (215) 545-8500 today. Your initial consultation is free and we take many dog-bite cases on a contingency basis, which means that you won’t owe legal fees until and unless we settle the injury claim in your favor. Your fees will be taken out of the settlement and you won’t owe Brotherly Law anything up front.
If you have been injured due to no fault of your own, you may be able to hold the responsible party accountable for the monetary damages resulting from the accident. Fill out the form below to request a free consultation so we can evaluate your case.