California is once again ranked as one of the leading states for fatal dog attacks, according to new statistics released by Dogsbite.org.
Dogsbite, a national dog bite victims advocacy group, issues updated statistics annually regarding the number of dog bite fatalities occurring nationwide. In 2011, California and Texas tied for the highest number of fatal dog attacks with four each. This represents a decrease from 2010, when seven Californians were killed by a vicious dog.
Dog attacks involving pit bulls continued to dominate the 2011 statistics, with 22 of the 31 fatalities nationwide attributed to the breed. According to Dogsbite, pit bulls make up less than 5% of the total U.S. dog population but accounted for 71% of fatal dog attacks. Seven of the deaths involved pit bulls who attacked and killed their owners.
Pit bulls and rottweilers accounted for 84% of the fatal dog attacks combined, an eleven percent increase from 2005 to 2010. Fifty-eight percent of the deaths involved adults aged 21 or older while the remaining 42% involved children aged 13 and under. Eight of the deaths involved a child under the age of one.
According to the report, 74% of the dog attacks occurred on the dog owner’s property and 29% of the incidents resulted in a criminal charge. This represents a 15% increase over 2010. The majority of deaths, 65%, involved dogs kept as family pets. Of the four deaths occurring in California in 2011, three involved a family dog.
One of the most notable cases involved a Pacifica woman who was mauled to death in her home by her male pit bull. At the time of the attack the victim, Darla Napora, was six months pregnant. Her husband made headlines after announcing that the dog, who was euthanized and cremated, would be buried with his wife.
In terms of non-fatal dog attacks, California also tops the list with 369 dog bite incidents reported in 2010. According to an annual report issued by State Farm Insurance, California is the most expensive state for dog bite claims, with $11 million paid in 2010 to cover medical expenses and other damages incurred by dog bite victims.
A dog attack can occur without warning or provocation and quickly lead to fatal consequences. While there is a substantial amount of debate over whether pit bulls are more dangerous by nature, the Dogsbite statistics suggests that there may be a higher potential for an attack involving the breed.
Should you or a loved one become the victim of a vicious dog attack, you need to know how to protect your rights. California law permits dog bite victims to seek civil damages against dog owners whose negligence contributes to a dog attack.
Call our Injury Hotline today at 1-800-718-4658 to schedule your free case evaluation. Our team of dog bite injury experts is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we are committed to helping you get the compensation you deserve. Contact Nadrich & Cohen today to get the experienced legal representation you need to prove your injury claim.