Long considered “man’s best friend,” dogs have quickly become extended family members that are loved and cared for every single day. However, the loyalty that is all too common with dogs can sometimes turn dangerous. A pit bull dog attack can be one of those times.
Dog bites can cause serious injuries, like lacerations, concussions, sprains and strains, and permanent scarring. Many times, dog attacks can lead to psychological trauma.
Pit Bull Dog Attack Statistics
A study on pediatric dog bites concluded that out of 551 patients, aged five months to 18 years, approximately 50.9 percent of the breeds involved in the injuries were pit bull terriers; another 6 percent were pit bull terrier and Rottweiler mixed breed.
Based on another study reviewing medical records for dog bites over a 15 year period, pit bulls were associated with a higher injury severity, higher risk of admissions, higher medical expenses for injuries, and a higher risk of death.
More than 1,000 cities in the U.S. have breed specific legislation, meaning that pit bulls and other mixed breeds that are considered dangerous are banned. More than 300 military housing locations have also banned dangerous breeds, including pit bulls.
While there are some breeds that may be considered more dangerous, dog attacks can happen anytime, anywhere, and involve any breed. According to the CDC, approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur every year in the United States. About 1 in 5 dog bites become infected.
Most at risk are men and children. Dog bite related injuries among children are most common in children between five and nine years old. The CDC also notes that about half of dog bite injuries occur at home or with dogs that are familiar to you.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a vicious dog attack, it is important to hire an attorney who has extensive experience with Arizona laws and regulations governing dog bites.
Arizona Pit Bull Dog Attack Stats
The Arizona Department of Health Services has completed brief research on dog bites in Arizona. The most recent data available is from 2014. Based on the data available:
- More than 34,000 emergency department visits and 2,000 inpatient hospitalizations were for dog bite related injuries.
- Between 2008 and 2012, inpatient hospitalizations for dog bites increased by 139 percent.
- In 2012, more than 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery after a dog bite.
- Approximately 70 percent of dog bite injuries were in homes.
Though data was not collected on the breeds of the dogs involved in attacks, the likelihood of some being pit bull attacks is high, as Arizona recently passed legislation that bans breed discrimination laws. Just earlier this year, a mother from Goodyear, Arizona was bitten while trying to protect her own dog that was attacked by a pit bull. In 2016, a Chandler woman attacked by pit bulls required 34 staples in the head after suffering severe injuries.
Arizona Dog Attack Laws
According to Arizona revised statutes, the owner of a dog is liable for a dog bite, but liability may also be placed on any person responsible for that dog at the time of the attack. For example, if you are pet sitting for a friend, you may be held liable if the animal bites another person or dog – even though you are not the dog owner.
Additionally, the dog owner is responsible if the dog bite occurred on public or private property. Even if your dog is outside of their confinement – whether you let them out or they let themselves out – the owner can be held liable for any damages inflicted.
The law on dog bites in Arizona is very strict, and dog owners are almost always held liable. One of the only defense a dog owner may have is that the animal was intentionally provoked. If it can be proven that the victim’s actions or circumstances caused the dog to be provoked and thus attack the person, the owner may not be held liable.
Dog attack victims should know that there is a limited amount of time in which they can file a claim. According to the Arizona statute of limitations, a claim for damages resulting from a dog bite must be filed within one year of the incident.
If you have been injured from a pit bull dog attack, you need to act quickly and contact an attorney who can protect your rights, help you get the compensation you deserve, and reduce the risk to your community. Give us a call today.