According to a 2009 study by dogsbite.org, during the three year period from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2008, 88 dog attacks resulted in the death of a U.S. citizen. 59% of those deaths were caused by a pit bull. The combination of pit bulls, Rottweilers and American bulldogs accounted for 77% of all fatal attacks during this time period.
Of particular interest, the study showed that while only 18% of the attacks resulting in death occurred off the dog owner's property, pit bulls were responsible for 81% of the off-property attacks. Dogbites.org claims that this statistic is further evidence of the dog's vicious propensity. However, while the dogs could have left the property in order to attack, they could also have been allowed to roam by their owners when attacks occurred.
What the study does show is that dogs are dangerous. And regardless of which side of the breed-specific argument you are on, there is no question that IF a pit bull does attack, it is more capable of doing serious harm than say, a dachshund. It is a muscular dog with massive jaws and the owners of such dogs and all dogs actually, must take responsibility for the possibility of serious injury by obtaining insurance. It is absolutely irresponsible for a dog owner not to have insurance especially when they own a dog capable of causing death.
Keep in mind, Michigan is a strict liability state in regards to dog bites, meaning a dog is not allowed "one free bite" as in some other states. No matter whether the dog has shown aggressive behavior in the past or if it has already bitten someone before, the dog owner may be held liable for the victim's injuries. If you or someone you love has been attacked by any dog, contact a dog bite attorney at Freedman & Freedman to discuss your potential claim.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice please contact Freedman & Freedman or an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.