Dog bite injuries are painful, terrifying, and often leave permanent scars. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year; about 800,000 of these people need emergency room treatment after a bite. While dog bite-related deaths are not common, when a dog attack does result in death, Florida families need to know that they have the right to hold any negligent parties accountable.
The Severity of Dog Bites
Some of the ways in which a dog attack might result in death include the following:
- Traumatic injury related to the attack itself, such as blood loss or damage to vital bodily organs or body functions
- Transmission of a fatal disease, such as rabies
- Infection resulting from the bite itself or setting in after treatment
Children and elderly individuals are more likely to suffer death as a result of a dog bite, according to the CDC. As many as 80 percent of fatal dog bites claim the lives of children under the age of 5. Children and elderly people also tend to be smaller and more delicately built than adults, making them more likely to suffer serious injuries and to succumb to bacterial infections after a bite.
Biting Dog Breeds
Despite calls from some advocacy groups to ban certain dog breeds as "biters," CDC studies of dog bites have found that no breeds are more likely to bite than others. A dog may bite no matter what breed or mixture of breeds it has.
Larger dogs are more likely to inflict severe bites that cause death from trauma, because they tend to have larger and stronger teeth and jaws than smaller breeds. However, even a bite from a small dog may claim a life if the bite becomes infected or the dog has a deadly disease like rabies.
Rabies, a viral infection that invades the brain, is always a concern whenever a human is bitten by a strange animal. Although wild animals like bats and raccoons are more likely to carry rabies, the disease can be transmitted by both feral and domesticated dogs. Rabies is always fatal if not treated.
Florida has had two recorded cases of rabies since 1996, according to the CDC. Both cases involved dog bites.
If you or someone you love is bitten by an unknown dog, tell emergency room staff or contact your county’s Department of Health immediately. Rabies vaccines are most effective when given before symptoms occur. The symptoms of rabies take seven to ten days to appear, after which treatment may not succeed.
Dog attacks cause a great deal of pain, fear, and permanent injuries. When a dog attack claims a loved one’s life, the family is often left scrambling to figure out what happened while also trying to bear the burden of their immense grief. That’s why the experienced Jacksonville wrongful death attorneys at Farah & Farah are dedicated to helping families hold any negligent parties accountable and seek the compensation they need. For a free and confidential consultation, contact us today at 855-797-9899.