April 8-14 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that one-third of all compensation paid for homeowners’ liability claims were dog-related injuries in 2017. Approximately $700 million was paid for dog-related injuries by insurance companies for homeowners’ liability claims relating to injuries caused by dogs.
The number of dog bite claims increased by 2.2 percent from 2016 to 2017. The average cost per claim increased by 11.5 percent. An Insurance Information Institute spokesperson said the increase in the average cost per claim could be attributable to an increase in the severity of damages. However, the cost per claim has steadily increased over the past fifteen years due to several factors including the increased cost of healthcare, increased size of settlements and jury awards.
Texas: 6th Highest Number of Dog Bites in 2017
Texas ranks sixth in the country for number of dog bite related claims in 2017. California, Florida, Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio had more claims last year than Texas. It is surprising that Texas has the sixth highest number of dog bites when the population of the state is second to only California. Based upon the population, one would expect Texas to have more dog bite claims than it does.
Many dog bites could be prevented by dog owners. The most dangerous dogs are typically dangerous because of poor training, irresponsible dog ownership and breeding practices that promote viciousness.
If you have been injured, contact The O’Hara Law Firm for a free consultation. Patrick O’Hara is a dog bite attorney that handles cases in Harris County and surrounding counties. The O’Hara Law Firm represents clients on a contingency fee basis. Call us at 832-956-1138.