Georgia Ranks in Top 10 for Dog Bite Claims

As a personal injury law firm, Jones & Swanson aids victims of a variety of types of unfortunate events that lead to injury. A large number of those incidents involve automobile accidents or falls, but an area of practice that victims have contacted our firm about more lately is dog bite attacks.

Dog bite attacks are becoming less common, but leave victims with more serious injuries.When a person is attacked by a canine, the injuries sustained are oftentimes serious. Lacerations, bruising, and broken bones are typical injuries that victims suffer after a dog bite. While man’s best friend can be a fantastic companion, dog attacks are becoming more serious and need to be addressed appropriately.

The Insurance Information Institute recently released the results of a study of dog attack claims, based on home insurance data gathered through 2014. Fortunately, the I.I.I.’s data shows a 4.7% decrease in the overall quantity of dog bite claims from 2013 to 2014. Yet the per-bite claim cost average has increased 15%, from $27,862 (2013) to $32,072 (2014). From 2003-2014, this number has risen approximately 67%.

When a dog bite attack happens, the owners’ homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policies typically cover liability legal expenses up to the policy limits. State Farm and the Insurance Information Institute report that canines account for over 1/3 of all home insurance claims, an estimated $530 million in insurance costs yearly.

2014’s top 10 U.S. states for dog bite claims were released with California ranking number one at 1,687. Georgia ranked ninth on that list with 388 dog bite claims at an average cost per claim of $31,497. At Jones & Swanson, we hope to assist in reducing those numbers. According to experts, even docile dogs will bite when defending their owners, food, or puppies. The best way to prevent your dog from biting others when they are frightened is to invest in excellent training. Dog owners who breed dogs for viciousness or simply do not take the time to properly train their canine are more often responsible for animal attacks. Dogs should be raised and taught socially so that they are confident and less likely to exhibit aggressive behavior towards humans or other dogs. For more information on safe canine training, visit www.aspca.org.