Dog Bite and Dog Attack Injuries Can Cause Serious and Sometimes Fatal Injuries

Recent statistical studies on dog attacks have shown the potentially catastrophic nature of the injuries that can result from these attacks. Homeowners insurers paid out $882 million in liability claims related to dog bites and other dog-related injuries in 2021. Each day, nearly 1,000 people are treated in hospital emergency departments for nonfatal dog bite-related injuries. In 2018, nearly 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs. Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States. There was an 86% increase in dog bite-related hospitalization stays between 1993 and 2008 in the United States. The average cost of a dog bite-related hospital stay was $18,200, about 50% higher than the average injury-related hospital stay. Dog attack victims suffer over $1 billion in monetary losses annually. JAMA reports this estimate to be as high as $2 billion.

Severe dog bite injury statistics

The probability of a bite resulting in a complex wound was 4.4 times higher for pit bulls compared with the other top-biting breeds ... and the odds of an off-property attack by a pit bull was 2.7 times greater. Pit bulls were also the most commonly identified breed involved in major injuries. Data has revealed that pit bull breeds were more than 2.5 times as likely as other breeds to bite in multiple anatomical locations. Most alarming is the observation that when attacks come from unfamiliar dogs, the pit bull was responsible for 60% and 63% of all injuries and ocular injuries, respectively. In some studies, dogs causing the injuries were overwhelmingly familiar with the patient: 53% of dogs belonged to the family. A review of 20 retrospective dog bite studies from U.S. Level 1 trauma centers showed that, in the majority of studies, pit bulls inflicted a higher prevalence and severity of injuries compared with other breeds.

Dog bite-related fatality statistics

From 2005 to 2019, family dogs inflicted 54% of all fatal attacks. 65% of those attacks were perpetrated by pit bulls. Of the 346 fatal pit bull attacks during the period, over half, 53%, involved killing a family or household member. From 2005 to 2019, only 20% of dog bite fatalities resulted in criminal charges. Pit bulls were implicated in 76% of these criminal cases. Go to for more information on these studies and statistics on dog bite and dog attack injuries.

Be Aware of Potentially Dangerous Dogs

At O’Brien Law, we have handled a number of serious dog attack cases and we are currently handling them. In Illinois, individuals in control of dogs or other animals can be held responsible for your injuries as long as you have not provoked the dog or animal in the attack. This blog is not intended to simply focus on pit bulls, but the statistics should not be ignored, especially when you are in the presence of children and potentially dangerous dogs. If you have been injured in a dog attack, we can answer your questions and assist you recovering compensation for your harms and losses. Stay safe around dogs!