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Record Number of Dog Bite Claims Filed Last Year

This week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, and American insurance companies said they had received 17,359 dog bite claims in 2013, the highest amount in a decade, when the old record was first set. This also represents a 5.5 percent increase from 2012. Here are some more of the numbers from the Insurance Information Institute about last year:

  • Dog bite claims made up over 1/3 of all homeowner insurance claims.
  • Insurers doled out $483.7 million for these claims.
  • The average claim around the country was valued at $27,862.

Of course, the human toll is far worse than the dollars. The U.S. Postal Service released numbers on dog bite attacks in Kinston on its workers, and last year, 5,581 postal employees were attacked by dogs. The CDC has said that nearly 4.5 million Americans suffer dog bites annually, with about 900,000 people needing medical treatment as a result. About half of all Americans bitten are children.

What many dog experts and legal professionals have agreed on is that many of these dog bites are clearly preventable, and these injuries are often the fault of negligent dog owners who do not properly understand dog behavior. Too many people mistakenly think that their pet will not harm anyone, even after they have had prior warning of aggression on their dog’s part. Owners may still fail to follow basic safety protocols, such as by not keeping their dog on a leash, or by riling them up with games that require aggression, such as tug of war (fetch is a preferable pastime according to experts.)

If you or a loved one has suffered from dog bite injuries, learn how you could get the compensation you deserve for medical costs, pain and suffering, and perhaps more when you talk to a Raleigh personal injury lawyer at our firm. The legal team at the Whitley Law Firm has over 38 years of experience with which to counsel and help you. Get started with a free case evaluation today!