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Why Some Dog Bites Result in Death—And What to Do If Your Loved One Has Died

The owner may be held responsible for a fatal dog attack

In December 2013, The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) published a comprehensive multifactorial study of dog bite-related fatalities. The study’s authors were able to identify seven preventable factors that are significant and important for people to know about.

Seven Preventable Factors That Contribute to Dog Bite Fatalities

According to the study, the following factors may make dog bite deaths more likely:

  1. There is no able-bodied adult present to intervene during the dog attack. (87 percent)
  2. The victim is not part of the dog’s family. (85 percent)
  3. The dog was not neutered or spayed. (84 percent)
  4. The victim had a compromised ability to interact with dog due to age or physical disability. (77 percent)
  5. The dogs were kept as resident dogs or guard dogs, rather than as family pets. (76 percent)
  6. The owner had previously mismanaged the dog. (37 percent)
  7. The owner abused or neglected the dog. (21 percent)

Four or more of these factors were present in more than 80 percent of dog-bite deaths reviewed in the study.

How to Protect Your Rights If Your Loved One Died From a Dog Bite

A dog owner is financially responsible if his dog injures or kills a person. The administrator of your loved one’s estate has the right to bring a wrongful death action against the owner of the dog that killed your loved one.

It is not necessary to prove negligence in a dog bite wrongful death action as it is in other types of wrongful death cases. Instead, the administrator of your loved one’s estate will need to prove who owned the dog that killed your loved one and should be ready to defend against any potential claim that your loved one contributed to the attack.

If the claim is successful, then the estate will be able to recover compensation for things such as medical bills incurred prior to death, funeral costs, lost income, and other damages.

To learn more about your rights and possible recovery after a death or any type of dog bite injury, please start a live chat with us now and schedule your own free, confidential consultation to learn more about your rights.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham