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Alarming facts about fatal dog bite injuries

It is hard to believe that in 2015, the death of 34 people in the United States were related to dog bite injuries. In Tennessee, only one person died in 2015 after sustaining serious injuries in a dog attack. Sadly, the dog involved was an adopted dog from a county shelter.

Pit bulls, rottweilers and American bulldogs are still the most dangerous breeds and 97 percent of the 2015 fatalities were due to these three breeds. The 2015 statistics regarding dog bite-related fatalities delivered a number of interesting findings, for example:

  • Across all age groups males are more prone to become a victim than females
  • The majority of the deceased victims were adults older than 22 years of age
  • The most children killed by dogs were either visitors or living with the dog owner temporarily.

It appears as if the situation in which a dog lives also plays a role in the dog's tendency to attack. Half the fatalities in 2015 involved two or more dogs, while factors such as tethering the dog or dogs breeding on the property seemingly increased the probability and ferociousness of dog attacks. In three instances, the death of the victim led to significant criminal charges.

Tennessee dog owners should never forget that it is their duty to ensure that their dogs do not harm other people. Victims who suffer injuries after being bitten by dogs may choose to file personal injury claims, while fatal dog attacks may result in wrongful death claims. If the evidence proves that a dog owner acted negligently and did not ensure that his or her dog was properly restrained, a court may award financial damages to a victim.

Source: dogsbite.org, "2015 U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities", Accessed on March 10, 2016

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