Top 10 states where dog bites cost millions
Insurers, doctors and veterinarians are trying to trim the painful and costly number of canine-inflicted injuries. Here's where the tolls are highest.
Next week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, and health care specialists, veterinarians and the insurance industry are trying to get out the word about reducing dog bite incidents this year.
In 2011, about 70 million dogs were living in U.S. households, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, down from about 72 million in 2006. That means more than 36% of the population has canine companionship.
The downside to that statistic is the more than 4.7 million dog bites reported each year. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 800,000 Americans seek medical attentional annually for dog bites. Of those injuries, nearly half require emergency room treatment. Dog bite rates are highest among children ages 5 to 9, and related fatalities average 16 a year.
Along with any physical and emotional damage, these incidents have financial costs. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that insurers paid out nearly $489 million in dog bite claims last year. Giant insurer State Farm says it dealt with 3,670 dog bite claims in 2012, paying out more than $108 million on them.
State Farm recently released a list of the top 10 states for dog bite claims in 2012:
Number of claims
Amount paid (est.)
10. New York
Laws can vary regarding dog bites. Some states have what is known as the one free bite rule. That is, if a dog bites and injures someone -- and has never done so before -- the owner isn't liable for those injuries.
According to the Dog Bite Law website, the rationale behind the one-bite rule "was that domestic animals by definition were not injurious, and therefore liability could be predicated only on the defendant's knowledge that a particular animal had a propensity to behave in manner that was injurious to humans."
Most general liability provisions in a homeowners insurance policy will cover the owner for dog bites. However, some dogs can be excluded, according to San Diego law firm Laureti & Associates, if the dog "is a breed known to be, or (has) the propensity to be, dangerous."
State Farm says it doesn't refuse insurance based on the breed of dog a customer owns because "under the right circumstances, any dog might bite."
i love dogs. all kinds. but...
dog bites are the #1 reason for visits to a plastic surgeon.
if you don't know it really, really well OR if it's not your own dog, NEVER put your face near a dog's face.
people will sometimes get in a dog's face and smile. big mistake. the animal views your toothy grin as a sign of danger and may snap.
How many dog owners say "Oh my dog will not bite!" Well my response is if it has teeth it can and will bite given the correct circumstances. The biggest problem is not the dog but the owner. People let their dogs run loose, do not keep them on a leash and numerous other careless owner behaviors. My next door neighbor lets their dog run loose. When I go in my own yard their dog is often there and barks are me. We have had several conversations about this to no avail.
So if their dog bites anyone in my family in my yard I will sue the hell out of them, it appears that is the only way they will get a clue.
I pulled, by its collar, a 70 lb male pit bull off my English Springer and luckily he was people friendly.
I reacted in less than 3 seconds in which I yelled while I held down the bruiser until the owner arrived. I was
friendlier than I should have been to the owner; however, there was no damage to my dog only the
fact that I was shaken by the experience. I called the dog control officer and he went to the
house to explain that they must secure the dog in the back yard by anyway possible. The officer said that
I was the first person that their dog was not injured by a pit bull. The owner said that the jumped off a 2nd story balcony... which I doubt. Anyway, now I carry a small can of pepper spray and a large can of maze just in case by luck goes the other way. By the way, my dog had been attacked by labs, schnauzers, Dobermans, French Bull dogs and terriers. Pepper spray is the most effective
but least harmful to deal with less than friendlier animals.
I was bit by a dog at work. It was a coworker who brought his dog to work because of neighbor complaints about the dog barking when he was not home. I had to go to the doctor because it became a workmen's comp. issue. I was fine but my company wasn't and neither was the workmen's comp insurance company. Needless to say he has some problems at work.
People do stupid things when it comes to pets. I have a dog jump through a screen door and bite people as they walk down public sidewalks. I have gotten out of my cay only to find a snarling dog trying to get me only two feet away. This was in a grocery store parking lot. Didn't realize it when I parked. Apparently we have to beware of the dog even if we are in public areas.
They say guns don't kill it people.. In the same sense I think pets are ok but its there stupid owners.
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