KING5 - 09/21/10 - Feature story on the pit bull attack on Jeanette Cunningham of Burien, Washington. Seattle dog bite attack attorney Chris Davis, her attorney, was also featured in the story.
When a dog bites it is a traumatic event, especially for a child, which may result in serious injury. Multiple deaths are reported each year as a result of the most vicious attacks. Often a bite will result in permanent scarring, nerve damage and a significant risk of infection. Many times there is psychological harm that lasts well beyond the physical injury.
Davis Law Group, P.S.
2101 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1030
Seattle, WA 98121
A survey by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta ("CDC") concluded that dogs bite nearly 2% of the U.S. population -- more than 4.7 million people annually. (Sacks JJ, Kresnow M, Houston B. Dog bites: how big a problem? Injury Prev 1996;2:52-4.)
Almost 800,000 bites per year -- one out of every 6 -- are serious enough to require medical attention. (Weiss HB, Friedman D, Coben JH. Incidence of dog bite injuries treated in emergency departments. JAMA 1998;279:51-53.)
Dog bites send nearly 368,000 victims to hospital emergency departments per year (1,008 per day). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nonfatal Dog Bite--Related Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency Departments — United States, 2001, MMWR 2003;52:605-610. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report is published by the CDC.
16,476 dog bites to persons aged 16 years or greater were work related in 2001. (Ibid., Nonfatal Dog Bite--Related Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency Departments — United States, 2001, MMWR 2003;52:608.
Every year 2,851 letter carriers are bitten. (US Postal Service.)
Getting bitten by a dog is the fifth most frequent cause of visits to emergency rooms caused by activities common among children. (See Weiss HB, Friedman DI, Coben JH. Incidence of dog bite injuries treated in emergency departments, JAMA 1998;279:53; also see US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Injuries associated with selected sports and recreational equipment treated in hospital emergency departments, calendar year 1994. Consumer Product Safety Review, Summer 1996;1:5.) Note that this comparison is limited to activities that children more or less voluntarily engage in, such as playing sports, playing with animals, etc. Dog bite injuries are not specifically set forth in Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, Child Injury and Mortality, pp. 36, 37, 136 and 137, which states that the leading causes of emergency room visits overall are falls, being struck by or against an object, natural or environmental causes, poisening, being cut or pierced, and motor vehicle accident.
An American has a one in 50 chance of being bitten by a dog each year. (CDC.)