Statistics on Children and Dog Bites in Maryland

Dog Bites

Kids and dogs share a special bond, especially among younger children who want to offer love, pets, and play for their furry friends. Unfortunately, it is important to remember that dogs are still animals that can be unpredictable. Given their attraction to dogs, the youngest victims often suffer the most. Statistics indicate that up to 51% of dog bite victims are children, while other data shows that around 4.7 million people seek medical treatment for dog bites every year.

Fortunately, Maryland does have a dog bite law to protect victims of all ages. However, the legal concepts vary among all US states, so they are very specific to the jurisdiction. It is essential to know the subtle details when pursuing your rights, including parents seeking compensation on behalf of their children. A Baltimore County dog bite attorney can assist with the legal process, and you can read on for some details and additional statistics.

Factors on Children and Dog Bites

Based on the figures stated above, approximately 2.4 million children are bitten or attacked by dogs annually. Every day, around 1,000 people require medical care for dog bites, so that would translate to around 510 children victims. Plus, there are additional factors to consider:

  • Based on their size, kids are at a dangerous level considering the dog’s range of motion. The faces and heads of younger children might be within inches of the dog’s teeth.
  • Many toddlers and younger kids do not understand the power of body language, both from the dog and their own actions.
  • Children are definitely attracted to puppies, which are what a mother dog will do anything to protect.

Maryland and the “One Bite” Rule

There is a rule stating that owners are only liable for dog bites if they know about the animal’s dangerous tendencies, which might mean having bitten someone in the past. However, Maryland does not follow the one bite rule, giving an advantage to victims. You do not need to prove that the dog had been violent prior to attacking you. Maryland’s dog bite statute presumes that the dog’s owner knew it was dangerous if it bit someone, so the owner would have to prove otherwise.

Filing a Dog Bite Claim

In most cases, your first step in the legal process will be filing a claim with the dog owner’s insurance company. Many times, these cases are settled by agreement. Still, the insurer may not be willing to pay fairly, such as by stating that you provoked the dog or the policy does not cover dog bites. It may be necessary to sue in court if you cannot settle with the insurance company.

Get in Touch with a Maryland Dog Bite Lawyer Today

Filing an insurance claim is challenging, and the difficulties increase if you are forced to file a lawsuit for your child’s dog bite case. To ensure your rights are protected, please contact Attorney Michael A. Freedman to discuss the process. You can set up a free consultation at our offices in Owings Mills or Glen Burnie by calling 410.363.6848 or checking us out online.

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