A study released by the Insurance Information Institute says dog bite claims increased by 2.2 percent nationwide in 2017, the highest number of which was in California. According to a report in the Seattle Times, the value of the claims jumped significantly reaching more than $686 million for the 18,522 claims made during the year. In 2017, the total value of claims nationwide increased to $13.7 million from 337 reports. The average cost per claim reached more than $40,000, the study says.
California had the most dog bite claims in 2017, with 2,228 claims costing nearly $90.4 million. Alaska had the least claims among the states, while Washington D.C. reported 28. The national average cost for one dog bite claims also reportedly increased by nearly $4,000 between 2016 and 2017. More than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs annually in the United States about 20 percent of who require medical attention. Children account for at least half of the reported bites while elderly people are the second most common group that is vulnerable to dog attacks.
Dog Bite Injuries
Dog attacks have the potential to result in major if not catastrophic injuries. Young children often suffer serious injuries to their face, which may require cosmetic surgeries, particularly to repair scars. Older people might get pushed to the ground by the attacking dog and sustain head injuries, back trauma or even broken bones. Regardless of age, dog attacks cause significant psychological trauma.
Victims tend to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD or paranoia. Many young victims tend to carry a lifelong fear of dogs. Disfigurement and scarring could also result in severe emotional and psychological problems for victims, especially with regard to self-esteem issues.
Damages and Liability Issues
If you have been injured in a dog attack, you may be looking at a number of damages including medical expenses, hospitalization costs, expenses relating to surgery (including plastic surgery), rehabilitative treatment, and psychological counseling. If you have been injured you can seek compensation for all these damages as well as for pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Dog bite claims are often covered by homeowners’ insurance and renters’ insurance plans. However, it may not be easy or simple to recover this compensation. You need an experienced California dog bite lawyer on your side who will fight for your rights and help ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your losses.