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Are Dog Bite Fatalities Rare?


Yes, deaths caused by dog bites are rare. According to statistics kept by the National Canine Research Council, there were only 40 verified deaths caused by dog bites in 2017. This means your odds of being killed by a dog bite are lower than being killed by lightning.

For comparison purposes, the website Bakersfield.com notes that around 19,500 people were killed by criminals in 2017 and 970 were killed as pedestrians in accidents. So your chances of dying from a dog bite are slim, relatively speaking. If you are out walking on the sidewalk, you are more at risk of being hurt by a vehicle or a criminal than you are by a dog.

However, dog bites can cause serious injuries, even if those injuries stop short of death. Dog bites can be very difficult to recover from. Below, we identify some of the worst.

Broken Bones

Many dog breeds can generate tremendous force with their jaws. As a result, it is very easy to suffer a broken arm or wrist in a dog attack. Broken bones can also cause many complications, especially if they sever an artery or press against a nerve. Broken bones can also damage surrounding tissue, such as muscles, tendons, or ligaments.

If a dog has bitten you, you should immediately go to the hospital. Pain is an obvious symptom of a broken bone, but a doctor will probably order an X-ray or other imaging test to diagnose the break and then set the bone.

Nerve Damage

The dog’s teeth can inflict direct damage to nerves. If you are bitten on the face, then your nerve damage could permanently alter your appearance, causing one side of your face to droop. This type of injury can be emotionally traumatic even if it doesn’t leave you in permanent pain.

Nerve damage to other parts of the body could limit your ability to use the affected limb. You might need physical therapy to help you recover as much as possible.


Infections are a perennial problem with dog bites. Many dangerous germs breed inside a dog’s mouth, and you can easily pick something up if you do not clean your wounds properly.

Two infections to watch for are rabies and tetanus. Your doctor could give you a vaccine or booster shot to protect you from both after a dog bite. You should also notify Animal Control so they can quarantine the dog to see if it manifests symptoms of rabies.

Emotional Distress

A dog attack can leave lasting emotional scars. Many people re-live the dog attack when they sleep or try to relax. You might develop a fear of being around dogs, which could make it difficult if you have dogs in the neighborhood. You should talk with a doctor about any emotional distress you are feeling as a result of the accident. You might benefit from anti-anxiety medicine or from therapy.

Contact an Experienced Delray Beach Dog Bites Lawyer

Dog bite injuries require expensive medical care, and you should not have to pay for this care when you did nothing wrong. At Earnhart Law, our Delray Beach dog bite attorneys can negotiate a favorable settlement for you that compensates you for all your losses, including pain and suffering.

Reach out to us today by calling 561-265-2220.




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