Las Vegas ranks 29th in the nation by population, and just below that in dog bite attacks to postal workers, according to statistics from the U.S. Postal Service, which unsurprisingly keeps some of the best statistics for dog bite attacks around the nation.
Recent years have seen an increase in dog bite attacks on mail carriers, and if all attacks on postal workers in North Las Vegas and Henderson are included, the number of attacks per year approaches thirty. About 1 in 3 attacks on postal workers are serious enough to require time off of work, according to OSHA data.
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Postal workers are trained and equipped to defend themselves from dog attacks, so if they fall victim to dog bite attacks, what does that mean for the general population? Depending on the severity of the dog bite, the injuries caused are often long lasting and result in expensive medical bills. These victims can work with personal injury lawyers in Las Vegas to recover economic and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
Children are Most Frequently Victims
At the national level, one group remains at the greatest risk for becoming a dog bite attack victim: children. Each year, over 800,000 people seek medical treatment for a dog bite. Of these, over 50% are children. While age is one of the greatest risk factors for becoming a dog bite victim in need of help from lawyers in Las Vegas, there are many other risk factors. These include:
- The gender of the dog. 92% of dog bite attacks involve a male dog, and 94% of these animals are not neutered. It is clearly a great safety benefit to have the family pet neutered.
- Knowing the dog. 71% of all dog bite attacks happen on the victim’s property, and most dog bite victims know the pet. Familiarity with the neighbor’s dog does not equal safety.
- Breed type. Pit bulls and Rottweilers caused 91% of all dog bite fatalities in 2015. Between 2005-2015, these two breeds were involved in 76% of all fatal attacks.
- Gender of the victim. Men and boys are much more likely to be attacked than females. In 2015, 79% of fatality victims among young children were boys.
Dog Bite Attacks Are Expensive
Dog bite attacks account for one third of all homeowner’s insurance claims each year nationally. The average cost of each claim is over $30,000. In total, the insurance industry pays out over half a billion dollars every year in compensation for dog bite attacks.
The cost of these attacks has climbed steadily since 2003, even as the number of attacks dropped about 2%. In 2003, the average cost of an insurance claim was just under $20,000. By 2008 this had climbed to almost $25,000, before breaking the $30,000 mark in 2014. Dog bite victims who need the advocacy of lawyers in Las Vegas can at least take comfort in knowing that they could be justly compensated for their suffering.
Attacks Can Be Prevented
Awareness of the statistics surrounding dog bite attacks helps families to make their interactions with pets much safer. Most attacks are preventable with sensible training and better practices around dogs. Adults can many times fight off a dog attack, or hold their ground until help arrives. Children, especially those under age ten, do not have the ability to defend themselves in an attack. This is why prevention is so important.
Children of all ages can learn how to reduce the risk of a dog bite in just one informative training session. Parents should take this responsibility upon themselves and train their children to interact safely with dogs. Parents also need to supervise their children around dogs, especially toddlers. 88% of fatal attacks to children under two years old happened when they were alone with a dog.
Dogs that are with their owners, usually the parent, are less likely to attack. Since dogs are pack animals, when they have their pack leader around, they follow their lead and respond to their commands. For children under four years old, 47% of the time the family pet is the attacking dog. Basic supervision could prevent many of these attacks. In cases where a dog shows any aggression towards a child, it should be removed from the home.
Nearly All Dogs are Good Pets
It is more than worth mentioning that of the 65 million dogs that are kept as pets in the U.S., only a very small fraction of these will cause personal injury. An even smaller amount of these attacks will cause serious injury or death. However, the severity of the consequences when a dog bite attack does occur merits proper education, awareness and prevention.