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Dog attacks can be a frightening experience, and the severity of the resulting injuries depend on several different factors. According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4.5 million dog-bite related injuries occur each year, with 800,000 requiring medical assistance. Knowing how these factors influence the severity of one’s injuries can help people prepare and protect themselves before they suffer an attack.
What Factors Play a Role in Dog Bite Injury Severity?
The first factor that influences bite severity is breed type. Larger dogs with powerful bodies are more capable of inflicting severe damage than smaller breeds due to their size and strength. However, even small breeds like Chihuahuas can inflict serious injury if provoked or scared enough to act aggressively towards someone. It’s important to remember that any dog, regardless of size or breed, has the potential to be dangerous.
The second factor that influences bite severity is the strength of a dog’s jaw muscles and teeth. Dogs with strong jaws and sharp teeth can cause serious injury as they are designed for tearing and gripping. A forceful bite can cause deep lacerations, broken bones, nerve damage, and even disfigurement in some cases.
The third factor influencing bite severity is the size of the dog’s body part that bites. For example, if a person is bitten on their arm by a small dog, it may not cause as much damage as if the same person were bitten by a large dog on the same area. Additionally, depending on the size of the dog’s body parts, the victim may suffer more injuries if the bite is on a more fragile area (i.e. their throat or face).
The fourth factor influencing bite severity is whether the attack was provoked or unprovoked. Unprovoked attacks are typically considered much more severe than provoked ones because they indicate that no warning signs were given by either party before the attack occurred, making it impossible for the victim to prepare and protect themselves.
One more factor that can play a role in dog bite severity is how long the attack lasts and how many bites occur during this time period. The longer an attack lasts, and the greater number of bites inflicted in a single incident can greatly increase injury severity due to increased trauma to the affected area(s).
Another factor that may influence the severity of a victim’s injuries when a dog bites them is a victim’s age. Children and elderly people are more likely to suffer greater injuries due to their lack of strength, agility, and overall health.
Finally, the severity of a bite can be affected by a victim’s access to medical treatment. Prompt medical attention can greatly reduce the impact of a bite, while delayed or inadequate treatment may lead to more serious complications such as infection or further damage to the affected area(s).
Contact a Pittsburgh Dog Bite Attorney
In Pennsylvania, dog owners have a legal responsibility to restrain their pets and prevent them from injuring others. If you’ve been harmed because a dog’s owner was negligent, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical bills and related losses.
Review your case with a Pittsburgh dog bite attorney for more information. A member of our team at Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman will gladly discuss your legal options in these circumstances. Get started today by contacting us online or calling us at 888-98-TWINS(89467).