Which Dogs Are Most Likely to Bite and Injure You?
Unfortunately, animal attacks are common. The World Health Organization acknowledges estimates that dog bites account for tens of millions of injuries every year, with the highest risk for bites being children. Nevada news outlets often report on horrific dog bites and maulings. So, what should dog attack survivors know about their rights and legal options after an incident?
Nevada follows the common law concept of liability for dog bite cases. To hold a dog owner liable for an attack, the owner must know their dog tends to bite and take insufficient measures to control the dog.
Keep in mind, however, that the laws surrounding dog bite cases in Nevada are complex. Each dog attack case looks different from the one before it.
Most pet owners feel that their dogs are their best friends. But no matter how anyone feels about their pet, dogs are still animals driven by instinct. Lots of people are hurt in dog attacks every day, and if you survived a dog bite, you deserve help from someone who understands your circumstances.
Dog Bite Statistics by Breed
The American Animal Hospital Association reported on a study performed by researchers at Ohio State University who reviewed data from 15 years’ worth of dog-related facial trauma cases treated at a children’s hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
They found that:
The bottom five breeds for bite risk are:
- Great Dane;
- Pekingese; and
The top six breeds for bite risk are:
- Pit Bull;
- Mixed Breed;
- German Shepherd;
- Terrier; and
This study focused on injuries that were severe enough to cause consultation with facial trauma and reconstructive surgeons. It specifically aimed to determine how dog bites affect children and how breed relates to bite frequency and severity.
There’s something else to learn from this study, too: When a dog’s breed is unknown, having a short, wide head may help predict bite tendency.
Causes of Dog Attacks
Why do dog attacks happen?
- Dogs off-leash. Leashes are meant to keep both dogs and humans safe. When people let their dogs off-leash, they put others around them at risk. Dogs are expected to be leashed at all times when they are not in designated off-leash areas.
- Negligent owners. Dog owners are responsible for their pets’ aggressive actions. Negligent and inattentive dog owners are legally liable for their dogs’ involvement in attacks or bites.
- Lack of caution. It’s easy for dog owners to assume that everyone around them is being cautious of their dog. It’s also easy for owners to assume that they are being cautious when, in reality, they aren’t. Some owners assume that attack survivors did not interact with their dog in a reasonably safe or cautious way. You should always use caution and ask someone before petting their dog.
- Distressed dogs. Anxious or frightened dogs are always at risk of lashing out at perceived threats. There are lots of warning signs that can indicate a dog may be in distress and about to bite or attack. Look out for flattened ears, growling, bared teeth, and so on.
What Should I Do After a Dog Bite or Dog Attack?
You can protect your physical and legal well-being after a dog attack.
We always recommend contacting a qualified attorney who can offer legal counsel; but, before you do…
- Get information about the dog (if you can). As mentioned above, lots of dog attacks involve unknown breeds. You may not know what type of dog bit you (or even which dog bit you at all). You should try to get information about the dog and its owner if you can. This is especially beneficial if you decide to bring a case—you can’t bring a case against someone if you don’t know who they are! Ask for the dog owner’s ID and ask for information about the dog, too. Things like breed and age are important considerations in every case.
- Document the facts. You should document facts about the dog attack as soon as you possibly can. The longer you wait, the more likely you are to forget details about what happened. This is true for witnesses, too. We recommend taking photos of injuries and anything abnormal at the scene of the attack.
- Visit a doctor. Always see a doctor immediately after an injury. Dog bites can carry a high risk of infection due to the bacteria that live in dogs’ mouths. Seeing a doctor quickly will help your case and it will help your healing.
Was the Dog Dangerous? Nevada Authorities Consider These Factors…
- History of aggression: Nevada law follows the “one bite rule.” The one bite rule means that a dog is considered dangerous if it has attacked just one person before.
- Mistreatment by owners: Nevada authorities acknowledge that long-term mistreatment or animal abuse has the potential to create a dangerous dog.
- The dog’s training: Certain dogs are trained for security and may bite or wound someone on command.
What Compensation Might I Recover After a Dog Attack?
Some of the most common questions we receive regarding dog bites involve compensation after the attack. Potential compensation varies from case to case.
In general, some damages that a dog attack lawyer can help you pursue include:
- Medical bills and treatment like emergency aid and transport, emergency room services, surgeries, prescriptions, therapies, and so on.
- Counseling costs.
- Loss of wages.
- Diminished earning capacity (if the dog bite victim’s ability to earn a living is permanently diminished).
- Pain and suffering.
- Mental anguish.
If a dog attacked you, regardless of breed, after you seek medical care and report the attack to local authorities, a dog bite lawyer near you can help explore your legal options.