Animal bite accidents make up one of the most common types of personal injury claims in the United States. Every year, millions of bite accidents and animal attacks occur, mostly due to interactions with animals that people keep as pets. Some of these involve very minor injuries, while others may result in serious or even fatal consequences. Below are some statistics and facts on animal bite accidents, mostly complied from information provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in 2009.

Dog Bite Statistics:

  • Dog bites are by far the most common type of animal bites in the U.S. with around 4.7 million dog bites occurring each year.
  • An estimated 800,000 dog bites are serious enough to require medical care.
  • About 2/3 of all dog bites occur near or on the property of the victim; in most dog bite cases, the victim knew the dog that bit them.
  • On average, there are about 31 fatal dog bite cases per year.
  • Around 92% of fatal dog bite cases involve male dogs; of these cases, 94% of the male dogs were not neutered.
  • Chained dogs are more likely to bite by a factor of 2.8 times more than unchained dogs and account for 25% of fatal dog attacks.
  • Slightly over 71% of all dog bites occur to the arms, legs, feet, and hands. However, 65% of dog bites among children are to the neck and head.
  • Pit bulls are responsible for the most human deaths each year, followed by rottweilers and huskies. However, many dog bite cases don’t get reported.
  • Half of all dog attacks involve children younger than 12 years of age.
  • 70% of all dog attack fatalities involve children who are less than 10 years old.

Most people associate animal bites with dog bites, but cat bites are also a very common phenomenon. Some cat bite statistics are as follows:

  • There are an estimated 400,000 cat bites each year.
  • An estimated 66,000 hospital emergency visits each year are due to cat bites.
  • In 2009, there were 81 rabies cases from dogs, but 300 rabies cases from cats, meaning that cats were three times more likely to be rabid than dogs that year.

Statistics and facts for other types of animals:

  • Three children have been killed by pet wolves in the past 30 years.
  • Reptile pets can also be fatal; some injuries involve strangulation instead of bites as they are caused by reptiles such as boa constrictors and pythons.
  • An injury caused by an exotic animal is a strict liability offense. This means that the owner of the exotic animal might be held liable for an attack regardless of whether they were in fault.

Thus, animal bites make a significant portion of the personal injury cases each year. Liability for a pet or animal bite will most likely lead to a damages award to help the victim recover their financial losses.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Animal Bite Accident?

Animal bite accidents can sometimes involve very serious injuries. You may need to hire a personal injury lawyer if you have any legal claims involving animal bites. Your attorney can represent you in court and can also help when it comes to reviewing the evidence for your case. Injury laws may differ slightly in each state, but your attorney can inform you of your rights according to the laws in your area.