Deadly Dogs and the Dirty Truth: In 2007 Michael Vick was identified as a key player in an unlawful dog fighting ring. In turn, this has generated much debate over dangerous dog breeds and the injuries they inflict. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) approximately 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. Of these 4.5 million bites, 885,000 are serious enough to require medical attention. Most victims requiring medical attention were children. In more than two-thirds of the cases reported, the attack was the dog’s first known dangerous behavior.
Dangerous Breeds: In 2008 there were 23 fatal dog attacks in the United States. Pit-Bull type dogs were responsible for 65% of these attacks, Husky 13% and 22% other breeds. The accounts for each of these fatalities can be found at Dog Bite.org. According to a study of attacks occurring between 1982 and 2006, the most dangerous types of breeds include: Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Presa Canrios and their mixes. Most dangerous breeds tend to attack children more than adults. However, Pit Bulls do not discriminate; they attack adults just as often as they attack children. In the United States, Pit Bulls make up 1 to 3% of the overall dog population and they cause more than 50% of serious attacks. Other dangerous breeds include German-Shepherd, Chow, and Akita. States vary on their laws regarding dog bites. Some states allow for one-bite before the owner is held liable, others have strict liability laws and hold the owner accountable even if it’s the first bite. Yet, some states have mixed statutes regarding dog bites. Oklahoma’s legal system favors victims of dog-related injuries. The law is a strict liability law that holds the owner liable so long as the victim was not trespassing and didn’t provoke the dog. Just recently, an 8-year old girl in Oklahoma City was attacked by a neighbor’s Pit Bull. The neighbors, as well as the girl’s parents, believe that the dog was only playing or that it became defensive since the young girl was on the neighbor’s property and the neighbors were not home. The dog had to be put in a headlock in order to be taken off the girl. She suffered bites to her knees and backs of her legs. In other news headlines, a two-year old child in Ardmore Oklahoma was attacked by the family’s Pit Bull and had to be taken to the hospital for facial injuries.
The headlines of dog attacks are endless. Reader’s Digest recently reported on an incident involving a four-year old boy from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The boy was mauled by a neighbor’s Pit Bull and Shar-Pei. The thirty-seven pound boy had played with these dogs many times before without any problems. The Shar-Pei had the boy’s thigh in his mouth while the Pit Bull had its jaws clamped around the boy’s head. Luckily, other nearby neighbors heard the boy’s screams and were able to rescue him. Had they not heard the boy, this incident would most likely have ended in tragedy.
Dog bite attacks and injuries too often result in death and permanent injury. Even though a neighbor’s dog or your family dog has never shown signs of violence or bad behavior, the impact of one bad encounter can last a lifetime. There are ways to reduce the liklihood of these occurences. Take measure to ensure your safety as well the safety of your loved ones. Should you experience an attack, report it to local authorities and seek legal advice promptly.
Oklahoma is a strict liability state for dog bite injuries. That means that in most instances the homeowner cannot even allege you were somehow negligent. Typically, any injuries you or a loved one suffers from a dog bite are covered under the owner of the dog’s homeowner’s insurance policy. The attorneys at McIntyre Law have experience litigation these matters and are prepared to aggressively represent you against insurance companies who would readily settle these cases below value.