The 12,000-year relationship between humans and dogs has been mostly a mutually beneficial one. As hunters, protectors and companions, dogs have contributed to humans’ quality of life and earned the title of “man’s best friend.”
But while humans have taken canines out of the wild, we haven’t managed to fully take the wild out of canines. Dog-bite injuries are a significant public-health issue that affects millions of people and costs the United States millions of dollars each year.
The statistics below describe the incidence and characteristics of dog-bite injuries in America, which leads the world in dogs (around 75 million are owned in the U.S.) and dogs per person (1 dog for every 4 Americans).
For legal help after a New York City dog attack, speak to a member of David Resnick & Associates, P.C., by calling us or sending us an online message.
Dog Bites by the Numbers
- 4.5 million Americans are bitten by a dog each year.
- 4,000 dog bites occur annually in New York City.
- Dogs bite an estimated 5,500 postal workers annually.
- The study “Emergency Department Visits and Inpatient Stays Involving Dog Bites” showed an 86.3 percent increase in dog bite-related hospital stays over a 16-year period.
- More than 500 people are bitten by dogs every hour in the U.S.
Dog Bites and Children
- Approximately 400,000 children are bitten by dogs each year. Children are much more likely to be seriously injured in dog-bite incidents than adults.
- 5-to 9-year-old boys have the highest rate of dog bite-related injuries.
- More than half of all dog bites occur to children 12 and under.
- Unsupervised newborns are 370 times more likely than an adult to be killed by a dog, according to the American Humane Association.
- Compared to adults, children have a 300 percent higher medically attended dog-bite rate.
Severity of Dog-Bite Injuries
- Around 1 in 5 dog bite victims – or 885,000 people per year – require medical attention.
- Dog bites result in approximately 325,000 emergency room visits annually.
- 9,500 hospital stays per year are related to dog bites.
- The face, neck and head are the leading body parts affected in about two-thirds of dog bites.
- In a typical year, plastic surgeons perform around 30,000 reconstructive procedures on dog-bite victims.
- The average cost of a dog bite-related hospital stay is more than $20,000 – about 50 percent higher than the average cost of an injury-related hospitalization.
- In total, dog bite-related hospital stays cost the U.S. nearly $60 million annually.
- Dog bites accounted for $479 million in homeowner’s insurance liability claims – more than one-third of all such claims – in a recent year.
- According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the average cost paid out on a dog-bite claim is $29,396.
- State Farm Insurance pays $110 million to cover 3,800 dog bite claims in a typical year. New York ranks 9th on State Farm’s list of top 10 dog-bite claim states in terms of claims (133), but ranks 4th in claims paid ($6.1 million).
Dangerous Dog Breeds
- Molosser breeds of dogs – agroup that includes pit bulls, Rottweilers, presa canarios, mastiffs, boxers and their mixes – account for 81 percent of attacks that result in bodily harm, 76 percent of attacks on children and 87 percent of attacks on adults.
- Attacks by pit bulls and their closest relatives outnumber attacks by any other breed.
- Pit bulls were responsible for 263 deaths and 1,677 maimings between 1982 and 2013 in the U.S. and Canada.
- Recent data for New York City show 815 reported pit bull bites in a single year.
- Other bite-prone dogs in NYC include the Rottweiler, Shih Tzu, Chihuahua and standard poodle.
Legal Help after an NYC Dog Bite
Dog-bite injuries are common, but often preventable. From puncture wounds and lacerations to broken bones and tissue infections, New York City dog owners may be held liable for harm inflicted by their pets.
Dog bite law isn’t always straightforward, and every case is different. Following a dog attack, protect your interests by speaking with an experienced New York City injury lawyer at David Resnick & Associates, P.C. From Manhattan, we serve victims in all five boroughs.
Contact us today to schedule a free case review.