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Dog Bite Injuries in Council Bluffs, IA

On Behalf of | Jun 29, 2019 | Personal Injury

Dog bite injuries in Council Bluffs, Iowa can be devastating, especially when a young child is the victim of the animal attack. While many people assume that dog bites most frequently involve unknown dogs, the vast majority of dog bites actually involve a dog owned by a friend, family member, or victim.  According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), more than 60 million households in the U.S. owned at least one dog in 2018. In total, Americans own nearly 90 million dogs. The more dogs in one household, the higher the likelihood of a dog bite injury.

If you or someone you love was attacked by a dog, it is important to understand how the law in Iowa works when it comes to filing a dog bite claim.

Getting the Facts About Dog Bites in Council Bluffs

Before we discuss Iowa law regarding dog bites, we want to inform you about dog bite injuries in the U.S. and how frequent they occur. The following are facts and figures from

  • Around 4.5 million dog bites occur in the U.S. annually;
  • Over 1,000 people seek treatment for dog bite injuries in the U.S. each day;
  • Approximately 20 percent of dog bites become infected;
  • More than 28,000 people in the U.S. had reconstructive surgery in 2015 to repair dog bite disfigurement;
  • Hospitalization stays for dog bite injuries increased by 86 percent between 1993 and 2008;
  • $18,200 is the average cost of a hospital stay for a dog bite injury, which is 50 percent higher, on average, than other hospital stays;
  • Living in a household with two or more dogs increases your risk of sustaining a dog bite injury by five times;
  • Pit bull breeds are more than 2.5 times as likely as other dog breeds to bite;
  • Eight dog breeds are associated with the majority of severe dog bite injuries, with pit bull breeds responsible for about one-third of those;
  • About 53 percent of dog bites happen in a home where the dog belongs to the family;
  • Newborns and toddlers sustain fatal dog bite injuries more often than any other age group, with nearly one-third of all dog bite fatalities; and
  • More than half of all dog bite fatalities affect victims aged 10 and younger.

Dog Bite Law in Council Bluffs, Iowa

Dog bites can happen almost anywhere, but they frequently occur in the home or on the property of someone you know. Iowa has a specific law (Iowa Code § 351.28) for personal injury claims arising out of dog bites or dog attacks.  Under Iowa law, dog owners are strictly liable for damages caused by a dog bite. This means that the victim does not have to prove that the dog owner was negligent in order to receive compensation. Instead, the victim only must prove the following:

  • Defendant owned the dog; and
  • Dog bite caused the plaintiff’s injuries or damages.

Under the statute, a dog owner can avoid liability only in cases where the dog bite victim was engaged in an unlawful act at the time of the animal attack.

Contact a Council Bluffs Dog Bite Injury Lawyer

If you need assistance with a dog bite injury claim, an experienced Council Bluffs dog bite injury attorney can speak with you today about your case. Contact Telpner Peterson Law Firm, LLP to learn more about our services.