Every year, about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States. Of these numbers, about 2 million, or nearly half, are children and about 5,600 are mail carriers. According to recent reports, 13 of these letter carrier attacks occurred in Las Vegas, placing the city 28th on the list of top dog-bite cities. Houston was first with 63 and Los Angeles second with 61, while Cleveland had 58, San Diego 53 and Chicago 47. This epidemic of dog bites has been due to several factors, according to experts. Higher levels of dog ownership and lower levels of owner control are two factors, along with the fact that many people are choosing breeds that are more likely to cause serious bites. Most dog bites do not result in hospitalization, but larger and more powerful dogs can often cause more damage.
FACTS ABOUT DOG BITES
According to the American Humane Society and other experts on animal behavior, there are several facts about dog bites of which everyone should be aware:
- Any dog can bite. While most of us think that some dogs are biters while others are not, the fact is that any dog could bite if cornered or frightened.
- Two-thirds of child victims are bitten on the head or neck.
- If mail carriers come to the front door, dogs should be kept in a separate room. Screen doors will not stop a dog if it wants to get to a stranger.
- Children should be taught never to let the dog out when someone is approaching the house, such as a mail carrier.
- Children should not take the mail from the carrier as the dog might see this as a threat.
- No dog should ever be allowed to roam a neighborhood unsupervised.
- A dog should never be left alone with a small child, even if the dog is considered gentle.
- No one should ever play with a dog without the owner’s permission.
- Dog bites led to 26,935 reconstructive surgeries in 2013 as well as $483 million in dog-bite claims paid by insurance companies.
If you have been bitten by a dog, you have rights that should be protected. Bernstein & Poisson, a personal injury law firm in Las Vegas, may be able to help you deal with the issues arising from a dog bite injury and collect compensation for your medical bills and other expenses.