If you have a dog, and the ASPCA says about 44 percent of American homes do, there is a chance for a dog-bite insurance claim.
Dog bites comprise more than 33 percent of homeowner insurance liability claims that cost more than $530 million in 2004, reports the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm, which asserts to be the largest homeowner insurer in the nation.
If you have been bitten by a dog, please contact an experienced dog bite attorney for assistance pursuing compensation.
Frequency of Dog Bites
The number of dog bites and the dollar amount of dog bite claim payouts has increased over the years. In 2003, homeowners filed 16,919 claims with an average amount of $19,162. By 2014 the number of claims fell slightly to 16,550 but the dollar amount per claim soared to an average of $32,072. That’s a 67.4 percent change over those years.
The large percent of change in the number of payouts reflects not only dog bites but also Rover knocking over kids, bicycle riders, and elderly people causing trauma, blunt force injuries, bone fractures, and increasing medical costs, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
The institute also says the increase in payouts also climbed because the dollar amounts of settlements between the homeowner and the injured person went up as did court-ordered judgments and the monetary awards reached by juries.
Some homeowner’s insurance companies will require a surcharge when it is time to renew and others will cancel the policy. Insurance companies issuing homeowner policies may ask if you have a dog.
Leashing the Cause
Dogs bite because they are protecting their food, their owner, or their territory. They may also just be frightened, in pain or exercising maternal instincts.
Preventing dog bites is the best thing to do. Have the dog “fixed” so its sexual behavior is reduced, socialize the dog around people, play with the dog regularly to build a bond and expend energy. Avoid aggressive games such as tug of war that can cause dominance issues. Do not allow the dog to roam around, and train it to sit and stay.
What to Do If Bitten
It is important to document everything, make notes, take pictures, and then talk to a Boynton Beach injury lawyer who is experienced handling dog bite cases. The attorney can present a letter demanding damages and negotiate with the insurance carrier to achieve the compensation that is commensurate with the injuries.