Have you or anyone you know ever been attacked by a dog? According to the Los Angeles Times, California sees more dog bite claims than any other state in the U.S. In fact, in 2013 California insurance companies received a total of 1,919 claims for dog bite injuries that ended up costing $64.7 million. Data collected by the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm in a recent report proves that we have the highest cost of claims in America.
Dog bite insurance claims are on the rise everywhere across the country. Insurance companies ended up paying out a total of $484 million nationally for dog bite injury claims in 2013, and the total number of claims actually rose by 5.5 percent from 2012. According to the L. A. Times article, “encounters with Fido account for more than one-third of liability costs for homeowners insurance.” The Insurance Information Institute indicated that the average claim cost has risen “more than 45 percent in the last decade.”
Why are costs rising so dramatically? It’s more than the fact that more dog bites are happening each year. Medical costs to repair these bites are going up as well. And when dog bite cases go to court, judgments and jury awards have also been on the rise for plaintiffs in recent years.
The report from the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm explain that some of the claims may be dog-related injuries, but not necessarily dog bite injuries: “the increase in the number of claims may be attributable to non-bite injuries that are being captured in the analysis, which can include scratching, tripping, knocking down or frightening a person.”
In general, it’s very important to remember that any dog can bite, and that dog breeds are not foolproof predictors of whether a dog will attack a human. However, some breeds are responsible for more injuries than others based on statistics. DogsBite.org indicates that Pit Bulls, Rottweiler’s, German Shepherds, Bullmastiffs, and Boxers are responsible for a high number of fatal dog bite injuries each year, but the American Humane Association (AHA) emphasizes that dog bites are reported more frequently when certain breeds – such as Pit Bulls or Rottweiler’s – are involved in the attacks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a majority of dog bites happen at home and are attributed to dogs that are family pets.
Have you been injured in a dog attack? Did your child sustain severe or fatal injuries from a dog bite? If you or a loved one has been injured in an attack by a dog, please contact the Law Office of Guenard & Bozarth for a free evaluation of your legal and medical status. It is critical to get support early in your case — do not wait to get help. Guenard & Bozarth are here to provide the support needed in a situation involving injury or harm to you or your family members. Call us 24/7/365 at 888-809-1075 or visit www.gblegal.com We Can Help!