Surprising Dog Bite Stats: Are People with Certain Dispositions More Likely to Be Bitten?

Dog bites bring roughly 1,000 people to the emergency department every day, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. However, there are likely to be many more people who are bitten but do not seek treatment for various reasons. This makes estimating the real scale of the problem solely based on hospital data problematic.

In acknowledgement of this, University of Liverpool researchers recently conducted a survey of a small town’s history with dog attacks. Some of their findings are as follows:

  • A quarter of those polled said they had been bitten by a dog
  • Only a third of them sought medical help
  • Men were nearly twice as likely as women to get bitten
  • When compared to non-dog owners, those who owned more than one dog were three times more likely to be bitten
  • In 55 percent of dog bites, the victim has never seen the dog before

The most intriguing discovery, however, concerned the characteristics of dog bite victims. The researchers were able to conclude that people with low emotional stability, aka neuroticism, were more likely to be bitten by dogs than people with high emotional stability, because the survey included a short test measuring the Big Five personality traits along with the questions about dog bites.

It’s unknown why this link exists

While the researchers were unable to explain why there is a link between low emotional stability and dog attacks, we can make some educated guesses. Because dogs are sensitive to human body language and emotions, it goes to reason that if a person is worried or unhappy, a dog would feel the same way and be more prone to lash out and bite.

It’s crucial to note, though, that just because your personality makes you more vulnerable to dog bites doesn’t mean you’re to fault if a dog attacks you. Dog owners are still responsible for keeping their pets under control. Under California law, if a dog attacks without provocation, the owner is responsible for compensating the victim.

Call us now if you have suffered a dog bite injury

If you have been bitten by a dog, you should speak with an attorney about your options. We offer free consultations to help dog bite victims understand their rights and alternatives at The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker. We can assist you in obtaining full and reasonable compensation for all of your damages, including medical treatment, scar reduction therapy, plastic surgery, pain and suffering, and more, assuming you did not provoke the dog. For additional information, call 800-333-0000 now.