While people of all ages are vulnerable to dog attacks, older people tend to suffer some of the most serious and life-threatening wounds.
About 18% of all dog attacks are happening to people between the ages of 50 and 69. Another 17% of dog attacks are happening to people who are over the age of 70. During a dog attack, an older person may easily fall to the ground, be overpowered in strength and become unable to defend themselves from the attack.
These statistics indicate people over the age of 50 are experiencing more than one-third of all dog attacks in this country, and this an age group is also more likely to experience broken bones and have more trouble healing from their injuries after a dog attack.
Dog Pack Attacks A National Trend
Dog attacks can be extremely vicious and this includes attacks against older people. A few shocking attacks have occurred in Maryland in recent months and several of them involve groups of dogs attacking as a pack and working together to maul someone.
This follows a nationwide trend of increasingly ferocious dog pack attacks. In a 13-year government-funded study, 47% of all fatal dog attacks involved two or more dogs, which is a 57% rise over the previous time period in the 80’s and 90’s.
Two Dogs vs. Two Older Adults in Baltimore
In October 2019 in Prince George’s County, an unsettling dog attack occurred at a local bus stop. Siblings Jeremy and Jessica Phillips heard someone screaming and found a 72-year-old man with a dog on each of his arms, pulling and mauling him from two directions.
While the siblings attempted to distract the dogs with sticks, the dogs lunged toward another 52-year-old man who was trying to avoid them by climbing onto a car. He was unable to escape and the dogs began mauling him, too.
Police arrived and held one dog down with a catch pole, but the dog was so wound up, it strangled itself to death on the pole. Police shot the other dog after it attempted to attack them twice.
Jessica Phillips described the dogs’ behavior as intensely aggressive and unrelenting, almost as if they were “possessed.” Police are still investigating the incident, and both injured men were hospitalized for severe wounds from the attack.
9 Serious Injuries Older People Suffer During Dog Attacks
A human body can be ripped to shreds during a dog attack. The most common injuries in older adults who can’t fend off attacking dogs include:
- Abrasions. Scrapes expose you to infection and scarring that may require plastic surgery.
- Lacerations. These deep cuts and tears need emergency treatment and leave lasting scars.
- Crushing injuries. When a dog stands or jumps on you, they can crush bones and organs.
- Puncture wounds. A dog’s teeth pierce deep into the skin, causing infection and organ damage.
- Infections. About 10-15% of dog bites lead to infections from bacteria.
- Rabies. About 50,000 people die from rabies every year.
- Tetanus. This serious infection can cause death if left untreated.
- Nerve damage. Deep wounds can cause temporary or permanent nerve damage.
- Death. More than 470 people in the U.S. have died of dog attacks in the past 15 years.
You Can Fight Back After a Dog Attack
A dog attack is a traumatic event that can change your life forever. If you’ve been attacked by a dog, stand up for your rights and hold the dog owner responsible for your injuries. A dog attack lawsuit seeks compensation for your medical bills, wages and pain and suffering.
After a dog attack, you may be able to seek compensation from the dog’s owner for:
- Past and future medical bills from the dog attack, even if insurance covers them.
- Bills related to psychological counseling for your emotional suffering from the attack.
- Past and future lost income.
The citizens of Maryland must come together to address the urgent issue of dog attacks. As a citizen, you can assist this effort by helping to hold dog owners responsible for their animals’ behavior. If you’ve been attacked by a dog, reach out to a Maryland dog attack lawyer as soon as possible.
Have a Legal Question About Dog Bites In Maryland? We Have Answers
If you have suffered injury from a dog attack in Maryland, the attorneys at Zirkin and Schmerling Law are leaders in dog bite litigation. We can answer all your questions, guide you through the challenging process of Maryland dog bite law and help you hold the right person responsible for your injuries by filing suit for damages. Call us at 410-753-4611 to set up an appointment with one of our dog bite attorneys today.