Super Lawyers
Illinois State Bar Association
Justia Lawyer Rating
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Avvo Rating
BBB Accredited Business

Pit Bull Attack

pit-bull-attack-bite-lawsuit Pitbull attacks are a rising concern for Americans. The number of pit bulls in the United States has more than doubled since 1991.

While some people believe that this is because they make good pets, there is no denying that pit bulls have become increasingly popular with dogfighters and other criminals who use them to guard illegal drugs or to attack people.

Were you or a loved one injured in a pit bull attack? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for people injured or killed through another's negligence.

Call a Chicago, Illinois dog bite lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

Pit Bull Dog Bite Victims Fatal & Nonfatal Statistics

Pit bulls are responsible for many attacks every year in the United States, recognized as an aggressive and powerful dog breed. Unfortunately, over 1,000 individuals require emergency health care treatments for injuries sustained by pit bull bites every year in the United States.

A recent research study also indicates that pit bulls were responsible for 59 percent of dog-attack deaths from 2009 to 2012. The pit bull breed has aggressive qualities not found in other dogs, and it also is a breed with one of the strongest jaw strengths that can easily damage muscle and flesh with even just a playful 'nip.'

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pit bulls led all dog breeds in the number of reported fatalities between 1979 and 1988.

In addition, according to the Animal Pediatric & Adolescent Injury Center, pit bull bites are 2.5 times more likely to cause serious injury than any other dog breed, with bites ranging from 10–30 percent of pit bull attack victims requiring hospitalization.

Around one-third of pit bull attack fatalities involved young children, and there are countless mauling stories involving older adults with serious or deadly injuries. So as you can see, an injury from a pit bull is no joke, and it's something that you want to discuss with your attorney if it happens to you or a loved one.

The Little Rock, Arkansas police department reports that in 2004 and 2005, pit bulls were involved in 29 of the 39 fatal dog attacks in the United States. The victims ranged in age from three days old to 86 years old.

In Chicago, Illinois, pit bulls were responsible for five deaths and 11 injuries in 2008. In 2009, the City of Denver, Colorado reported that pit bulls were responsible for 34 percent of canine-related fatalities.

In a study by Animal People, pit bull terriers have the highest bite rates than all other dog breeds due to selective breeding to enhance their fighting abilities.

They are also more likely to inflict multiple bites in separate attacks than the other breeds. But, again, this is because they were specifically bred for their fighting abilities that involved holding on when biting, unlike other breeds.

Pit Bulls Bite More People Than Any Other Dog Breeds

A study conducted by the Annals of Surgery concluded that pit bull bites pose a serious public health threat. In 44 years from 1965 to 2009, the study examined dog bites at the level 1 trauma centers of two large hospitals in Philadelphia and compared dog breeds involved in biting incidents.

According to the study, pit bulls were responsible for nearly 50 percent of all attacks that required hospitalization, and their bite rate was 8.2 times higher than bites from other dog breeds. In addition, pit bull attacks were more vicious and inclined to cause death if not treated immediately.

In a follow-up study by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association in 2013 that surveyed 516 dog-related fatalities from 2000–2009, it was concluded that 33 percent of deaths involved a pit bull.

Other studies have reported that dogs involved in fatalities were often a mixed breed, with 50 percent being a mix of two or more dogs and 33 percent being a pit bull-type dog. For example, the medical journal reviewed 31 dog bite-related deaths from 1997 to 2006, and 20 of those dogs were identified as pit bulls, with aggression contributing to the attack.

In 2011, the National Canine Research Council reported that pit bulls were responsible for 65 percent of dog bite fatalities from 1982 through 2009. They also found that over 80 percent of the attacks involved a family member's pet or a neighbor's dog rather than a strange dog.

In 2008 and 2009, pit bulls killed 52 Americans and accounted for 64% of fatal dog attacks. In 2012, pit bulls were responsible for 28 fatal dog attacks, nearly one-third (31%) of the total recorded deaths due to dog bites in that year.

Dog Ownership and the Pit Bull Problem

Those who have pit bulls must be aware that their beloved pets may pose a serious risk to the rest of the public and take precautions such as: leashing their animals and taking them to the canine training courses.

Pit bulls are frequently considered to be fighting dogs, and their aggressive nature may cause a pit bull bite or another type of injury to passers-by or neighbors. One can never anticipate when a dog may lash out and cause a pit bull attack in Chicago. Pitbull bites have the potential to cause injuries to people and also cause deaths of individuals.

Pit Bull Rescue Central offers the following tips to avoid a dog bite:

  • Don't run past a dog or act scared. It can trigger their prey drive (chase) and worsen the bite when they catch up with you.
  • Make direct eye contact with an approaching dog, slowly back away while facing him, opening your coat or arms to appear larger if you are wearing one.
  • If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still (e.g., "play dead").
  • Don't scream. Try to remain calm to avoid provoking the dog further.
  • Focus on the dog's eyes, not its teeth or gums. Although some dogs will "dispatch" a victim without warning, most dogs will give plenty of warning signals before they attack.
  • Curl into a ball if a dog knocks you down, placing your hands over the back of your neck for protection
  • If attacked, focus on protecting your head and neck. People have successfully fought off dog attacks by sticking fingers into the dog's eyes, grabbing and holding the dog's tongue, or using any object available to fend off the animal.
  • If your clothing comes off during an attack, protect your body with anything you can grab (e.g., sticks, jackets).
  • If a group of people tries to beat the dog away with sticks, this can make the dog more likely to attack. The best thing to make yourself appear larger (e.g., take off your jacket or open your coat).
  • If you are in a group of people, don't try to rescue someone being attacked by a dog unless you have a weapon or object to hand that you can immediately use to rescue the victim.

Pit Bull Attacks Continue in Chicago

Recently, three pit bulls escaped from their yard and killed a poodle on the West Side of Chicago. The owner was also bitten by one of the pit bulls during the attack. As children played nearby, this attack occurred at about 6:00 pm.

As a result of the pit bull attack, the poodle owner was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and required serious surgery when he arrived to correct his bite wounds.

The three dogs were taken away by Animal Care and Control and euthanized. Unfortunately, this incident is just one example of many that can happen in Chicago at any point in time.

As the population increases, more people will own dogs, resulting in a pit bull attack uptick. In addition, dogs are often considered family members, and individuals may not think twice about allowing their pets to roam free.

It can lead to disaster if a loose dog bites someone or another animal on the street. In addition, victims' families may choose to take legal action against pit bull owners for their negligence when this occurs.

Serious Injuries Caused by Chicago Pit Bull Attacks May Require Extensive Medical Care

When one is involved in a pit bull attack in Chicago, serious injuries commonly result. It can only take minutes for pit bulls to cause severe injuries and permanent disabilities in victims.

Victims can suffer from the following types of injuries when they are involved in pit bulls fatal and disfiguring attacks:

It is important for those who have suffered from serious injuries from a pit bull attack to receive immediate medical attention and file a report with the police.

One should immediately call the police and ensure that all details are recorded in a police report, including a description of the attacking dog and the dog owner's name and address. It will be an important stage of the process of dealing with a pit bull injury and potentially filing a lawsuit at a later time.

A judge and jury will need actual proof that one has been involved in a pit bull attack and has suffered from injuries and details as to who the animal owner is. After filing a police report, individuals should seek emergency medical help. It may be necessary to try to stop bleeding on the way to seeking emergency medical help.

After a pit bull attack, those who have suffered from injuries should place a towel over the affected area, wash the bite with soap and water, and apply antibiotic ointment to the affected area. It can be a short-term way to treat a dog bite before one arrives at the hospital.

Fatal Dog Attacks and Pit Bull Owners

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that fatal dog attacks involving the American pit bull terriers and pit bull mixes were most common with children younger than ten years old.

Also, 54 percent of all fatal dog attacks involved a child having no supervision at the time of the attack, and 37 percent of those fatalities involved a playmate or sibling as the attacking dog; 21 percent of those killed by dogs were babysitters, with 9 percent being an infant.

There were 32 fatal dog attacks in 2012, which is the most ever recorded in the U.S. Pit bulls were responsible for 23 of these deaths.

The pit bull problem with most fatal dog attacks in the U.S. involve:

  • American bulldog
  • American pit bull terrier
  • American Staffordshire terrier
  • Staffordshire bull terrier
  • Rhodesian ridgeback
  • Mixed breeds with other pit bulls

Pit bulls are responsible for 81 percent of these deaths among all dogs. These figures are why families are not recommended to keep pit bulls as pets, especially those with little children at home.

Pitbull owners must realize that their dogs might lash out and behave aggressively. These types of behaviors may be caused by a dog that is neglected and not well-socialized or trained.

If one has suffered from injuries after a pit bull attack, it's important to seek the legal advice of an attorney who specializes in this area. In addition, an attorney can provide individuals with more information on filing a claim for damages.

Injured in a Chicago Pit Bull Attack? Seek Legal Counsel From an Attorney

After being involved in a pit bull attack, it's important to seek legal counsel to be documented and compensated for injuries. In addition, one should file a report with the city police officers if they have been injured by a dog bite while riding on public transportation or a bus.

If the dog that caused injury to someone was a pit bull, then all details regarding the dog and its owner must be recorded in the report. It will be useful information at a future time when filing a lawsuit against an aggressive dog's owner.

Percentage of Pit Bulls That Attack Their Owners

According to data provided by the American Temperament Test Society, pit bulls have a higher percentage of attacks on their owners than other breeds.

These studies had shown that 10 percent of all pit bull types involved in deadly dog attacks were known to have attacked their owner at least once before the incident, while this was only true for 3 percent of all other dogs types. However, this does not mean that all pit bull owners get attacked all the time.

In families with at least two pit bulls, the incident rate of dog bite injuries when one of the pit bulls attacks another is 30 percent. It might happen when the dogs are left alone in a room or when food is present in an area that can trigger a fight between two dogs or between its owner.

The CDC reports that breeds associated with fatal dog attacks have changed because of population, popularity, and media attention. It allows more people to have access to these types of dogs.

Pitbull problems can be solved through education, proper training, supervision, and responsible ownership practices, including spaying/neutering. Parents with young children should not consider owning a dog that has the propensity to become aggressive or lash out in an unprovoked manner.

Additionally, breeding pit bulls increases the incident rate of dog bite injuries, especially among dogs selectively bred to be vicious for fighting other animals.

Chicago Pit Bull Attack Injuries Are Compensable Under Illinois' Animal Control Act Law

Being involved in a pit bull attack can be a costly experience for the victim. The victim may be left with permanent disabilities or injuries. In addition, they may be unable to return to work, and a victim may also be unable to provide a stable income for their family.

It is vital for one involved in a pit bull attack to determine how much they may receive in lost wages. First, a medical report must be filed to calculate the correct amount for lost wages. Lost wages can be paid to dog attack victims for past, present, and future missed workdays.

Other forms of monetary compensation that may also be available for individuals involved in pit bulls attacks may be medical expenses, pain, and suffering, loss of consortium, and property damage.

Filing a Lawsuit After a Pit Bull Attack With Help From Illinois Dog Bite Lawyers

The dog bite attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can assist those involved in pit bulls attacks in Chicago and throughout the State of Illinois. Our law office has experience representing people in pit bulls bite cases. It can assist in the process of investigating one's pit bull attack case, getting medical records, and filing a lawsuit for compensation against the responsible party.

The experience handling dog bite injury cases in Illinois means knowing the value of dog bite fatalities cases. As a result, we can accurately advise you when an insurance carrier's settlement is reasonable or when litigation is necessary.

All our dog bite fatalities cases are handled on a contingency fee basis where a fee is only charged upon a recovery for you. In other words, our services are completely free if there is no financial recovery for you.

Do you have questions about your rights or the rights of your child following an Illinois dog bite incident involving pit bulls? If so, contact our office now for a free consultation with a dog bite attorney who has experience handling cases like yours.

Pit Bull Attacks Resources:

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld. Michonne Proulx
★★★★★
Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own. Ethan Armstrong
★★★★★
This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you. Daniel Kaim
★★★★★
Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan! Giulia
★★★★★
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa