Though most Californians like dogs, nobody wants to end up in the emergency room after a dog bite attack. While dogs sometimes come out of nowhere, risk factors affect your chances of becoming a victim.
What are the key risk factors and which groups of people are most at risk?
Most of these risk factors are out of your control. Until you encounter a new dog, you cannot know its breed, sex, size, training and whether its owner is negligent or abusive to it.
As we discussed back on March 31, much of the fear of pit bulls, Rotweillers, Dobermans and other “dangerous breeds” is based in stereotype, though some breeds are more likely to attack with no provocation. Because of their size and strength, larger dogs are more likely to hurt you, resulting in a hospital visit and reports of the incident. So in terms of total dog bite attacks, the numbers may be skewed somewhat.
Meanwhile, the size and age of the human matters too. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among children, kids aged 5-9 are the most vulnerable to dog bite injuries.
Children in general bear the brunt of dog attacks, with 42 percent of all people seeking ER treatment for dog bites being 0-14 years old, according to the university study.
Among adults, men are more likely to be bitten. But it is kids of elementary-school age who are most at risk.
If a dog has injured you, you may have the right to seek compensation. In an upcoming post, we will discuss the role that insurance plays in this process. An experienced personal injury attorney can help understand your situation and how to respond most effectively.