Dogs are often “man’s best friend.” Many of these animals lead peaceful lives as friendly and lovable animals. They pose little threat to their owners or anyone else they encounter. Many breeds of dogs pose little risk of harm, both because of their size and disposition.
However, some dog breeds are far more dangerous than others. Breeders have bred extremely large, aggressive dogs like pit bulls and Rottweiler for strong jaws capable of exerting enormous pressure.
Size and breed do not necessarily determine the danger a dog poses. Even small dogs can attack people, especially small children. When this happens, you can seek compensation from the owner with the help of a dog bite lawyer near you, regardless of the breed.
Nevertheless, here are the most dangerous breeds of dogs.
Pit bulls are actually not a unique breed of dog.
The term refers to three different dog breeds:
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier,
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- American Pit Bull Terrier
Pit bulls comprise only six percent of the dog population in the country. However, they account for roughly two-thirds of the fatalities due to dog bite attacks. People initially bred pit bulls as aggressive hunting dogs.
While not every pit bull is dangerous and vicious, they have the potential to cause serious injury. Their jaws are incredibly strong. Their jaws can exert 242 pounds per square inch.
While theirs are not the strongest bites, their power combines with a pit bull’s determination. Pit bulls often bite and do not let go. What makes pit bulls even more dangerous is their unpredictability. Some may behave perfectly for their entire life until one incident, where they attack.
Rottweilers are strong and tough dogs with a unique combination of large size—they can grow to 135 pounds with a bite force that can reach 338 pounds per square inch—and an extremely protective personality.
A rottweiler can be man’s best friend to people it knows while fiercely protecting those same people. Their affection can turn vicious in a hurry. They can grow irritated and aggressive without proper mental and physical stimulation.
Rottweilers and pit bulls combined cause 77 percent of dog attack fatalities in the country. They often attack mail carriers and others who make deliveries to their properties.
German shepherds are often guard dogs, as owners can train them to aggressively protect people or property. They are also large dogs with a very strong bite.
German shepherds are also very territorial. These dogs often attack small children they believe are encroaching on their space. Male German shepherds can grow up to 90 pounds. These animals cause about 5 percent of dog attack fatalities in the United States. They also initiate many non-fatal dog bite attacks.
These dogs often need training to harness their aggressiveness and reduce the danger they pose to people. The good news is that this animal is trainable, but many owners do not invest in training that will keep other people safe.
Many people are surprised to find bulldogs on the dangerous dog list.
Weighing up to 100 pounds, bulldogs are incredibly strong and muscular. Bulldogs must receive training and socialization from an early age so they do not become dangerous as they get older.
Bulldogs have very powerful jaws, strong teeth. They are easily agitated, which can lead them to attack. Bulldogs cause approximately 4 percent of all dog bite fatalities. Their bite exerts 305 pounds of pressure per square inch, which is strong enough to break bones.
Bullmastiffs are a cross between an English mastiff and an American bulldog. They are among the larger breeds of dogs, weighing up to 130 pounds. They have strong jaws and do not hesitate to attack if they feel their family is in danger.
Although a bullmastiff is a relatively rare breed, it is responsible for 3 percent of dog bite fatalities in the United States.
Bullmastiffs are often subject to breed-specific legislation in certain states because of their potential danger. These dogs can cause serious injuries when they bite or charge a person.
You might not think that a Siberian husky is capable of causing much harm and damage. The animal weighs no more than 60 pounds. However, it can gravely injure people.
Siberian huskies have the genetics of a working dog that has to hunt for all its food. Since these dogs came from a wilderness area, they are wired toward independence. Their survival instincts come into play when they feel challenged or threatened. They are most likely to attack small children because they view youngsters as threatening their turf and well-being.
These animals are used as guard dogs as often as German Shepherds. While Dobermans do not cause many fatalities, they do cause many serious bite injuries.
Their aggression makes them dangerous. Their intelligence makes them even more of a threat. What sets Dobermans apart from many dogs is their height. These dogs can stand up to three feet tall. When they jump, they can attack and bite adults on their throats and faces.
Dobermans are instinctively protective. These instincts can take on an even sharper edge when the dog feels threatened or believes a human may harm those they are supposed to protect. When they bite, their jaws can exert over 300 pounds of pressure per square inch.
New York State Does Not Ban Any Breed of Dogs
Every state has its own laws regarding dog ownership and liability. For example, New York does not ban particular dog breeds. No legislative efforts on the horizon will ban these breeds, even after several horrific fatal attacks in recent years.
In fact, New York has a law that restricts homeowners insurance companies from refusing to cover people who own dangerous dog breeds or even charge them higher premiums. The law prohibits insurance companies from refusing to renew policies for people who own these dogs.
Local restrictions may apply. For example, the New York City Housing Authority prohibits residents from owning pit bulls, doberman pinchers or rottweilers. Some municipalities may impose fines, and even criminal penalties, on owners of dangerous dog breeds when they attack and injure people.
New York also has no laws that automatically impose liability on owners of dangerous dog breeds. Instead, the standard dog bite liability laws that the state uses apply to every attack, no matter the breed of the dog.
New York Does Not Have Strict Liability Laws for Dog Bites
New York uses a hybrid system, which is somewhere between the one bite rule and strict liability. You do not automatically qualify for financial compensation simply because a dog bit you. The dog must have attacked someone else first. Then the law holds the dog’s owner strictly liable unless the dog bite victim provoked the dog.
You need an experienced dog bite attorney to handle your case and prove liability. Your attorney can research the dog’s history, because that can determine whether you can seek financial compensation. This is not something that you can do on your own.
Your Damages in a Dog Bite Case
Once you establish your legal right to compensation, you might seek damages for:
- Medical expenses, including the cost of reconstructive surgery, if it is necessary
- Lost income for time missed from work or a reduction in your earnings capacity (when you lose the use of a body part or have a prominent scar)
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress, especially when you are suffering from the traumatic aftereffects of being bitten by a vicious animal
- Scarring and disfigurement, which can be considerable after being bitten by an animal with sharp teeth and strong jaws
- Embarrassment and humiliation
Children may suffer even more serious injuries because dog bites are to their head and neck. You owe it to your child to get the most possible money for them.
Worry About Your Specific Injuries, Not an Average
Do not believe an average figure insurance companies give you is a good settlement. You have the legal right to receive compensation for the full amount of your damages. If your case is worth more than the average number, you have a right to that money, whether from an insurance company or the animal’s owner.
You should hire a dog bite injury attorney as soon as possible after the incident, so your attorney can have the time to investigate what happened and gather the necessary evidence.
Then, your attorney can estimate the value of your case and seek full compensation for you. They can negotiate the settlement with the insurance company or file a lawsuit in court if the insurance company denies the claim or they will not pay you enough.
You do not need to stress about how you can afford a dog bite accident attorney or how you will pay them if you do not win your case. You only need to pay your attorney if you receive a settlement or win your case in front of the jury. Then, your attorney will receive their percentage directly from your award before you receive the rest. You do not need to pay them any money before then, and you do not need to pay them if you do not win your case. Thus, you do not need to stress about getting the legal help that you absolutely need in a dog bite injury.
Consult with a Dog Bite Attorney
If you or a loved one was a victim of a dog bite, never wait to contact a dog bite lawyer. In states with complex hybrid laws, like New York, the right dog bite lawyer can evaluate what happened and advise of your legal options. They can assess the circumstances, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for your rights.
Time is of the essence as you face deadlines for filing a claim, and prompt action can preserve evidence. By calling a personal injury attorney in Long Island today, you can take the necessary steps to seek justice and pursue fair compensation for your injuries and damages.