While dogs are affectionately called man’s best friend, each year thousands of people suffer serious personal injury from dog bites. In 2016, 31 people lost their lives due to dog attacks. The other statistics for last year are shocking to say the least. Below are some of those statistics.

What Types of Dogs Are Most Likely to Attack?

Pit bulls are regulated in more than 900 U.S. cities and in military housing. Despite this, pit bulls contributed to 22 of the 31 fatalities. It is estimated that this dog breed makes up about 6 percent of the overall dog population in the country.

The second deadliest dog breed is the Rottweiler, which was responsible for two deaths in 2016. Pit bulls and Rottweilers were responsible for 77 percent of the dog bite fatalities in 2016, and 76 percent of dog bite fatalities from 2005 to 2016.

The American bulldog, which is a close cousin to the pit bull, was also responsible for two deaths in 2016. When looking at pit bulls, Rottweilers and American bulldogs, the three breeds were responsible for 84 percent of all fatalities related to dog bites.

Other breeds responsible for fatal attacks in 2016 were Labradors, Belgian Malinos, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, mixed breeds and other dog breeds about which data was unreleased.

Demographic Breakdown of Victims

In 2016, 58 percent of dog bite fatalities were adults and 42 percent of victims were children 9 years old and younger. Among children who died, more males were killed than females. In adult victims, more females than males were killed.

Infants who were between 3 and 6 days old accounted for 31 percent of all fatal child attacks. Roughly one-third of all fatal attacks occurred in a home where either the victim or the dog was new to the household. Children 9 years old and younger accounted for 80 percent of those attacks and 70 percent of those attacks were by pit bulls.

Have You Been a Victim of a Dog Attack?

If you have been the victim of a dog attack or if you have lost a loved one due to a dog attack by an animal that was not your dog, you may have a right to seek compensation through the civil court system. In only 6 percent of cases last year did the animal’s owner face criminal charges; however, a successful civil case does not rely on a successful criminal case. If you wish to seek compensation from the owner of the dog that attacked you or your loved one, an experienced local personal injury attorney can help.