Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 24, 2020

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Dog bite injuries can result from a variety of circumstances – from intense provocation of a dog to a completely unexpected attack. However, other factors, including a dog’s breed and temperament, are just some of the important factors that may be very relevant in a dog bite lawsuit.

Relevant factors in dog bite lawsuits

There are a number of factors that might be relevant in a dog bite lawsuit, according to Steve Recordon, a California attorney with nearly 30 years of experience whose practice represents individuals who have been injured by dog bites. In a recent interview, he provided the following examples:

  1. Breed.I think the breed is the most important factor. Some dogs are more likely than others to be aggressive or bite. Most people are familiar with the Michael Vick case, the quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. I think we all got a real close-up and personal look at Pit Bulls through that case. The news media was constantly running pictures of these dogs that are bred to attack and you actually got to see some really, really disturbing pictures of Pit Bulls fighting each other.

    There’s an interesting phenomenon going on right now. If you ever take a walk through the pound, it’s surprising the number of Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes that are there. In many cases, that’s the kind of dog that people are taking home.

    Rottweilers are another breed that’s on that list of dangerous dogs and, actually, Rottweilers are a little larger than Pit Bulls. More severe and fatal dog attacks come from Rottweilers, with Pit Bulls being close behind.

  2. Pack mentality.Another factor is the pack mentality, and what I mean by that is, people that keep more than one dog. The chances of a serious injury or death are more than twice as likely when you have the pack mentality of two or more dogs.

  3. Mistreatment. Then you have owners that mistreat their dog. If a dog has been abused, the risk of biting goes way up. Keeping a dog on a chain also increases the likelihood of that dog being aggressive.
  4. Gender. Male dogs are likely to be more aggressive than female dogs in general and dogs that are not neutered, male dogs in particular, are also more likely to be aggressive.

If you’ve been injured due to a dog bite, contact an attorney whose practice focuses in this area of law to discuss your situation. Consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential.