According to an MSNBC.com news report, a recent study shows dog bites cost insurance companies an estimated $479 million in 2011, which accounted for a large portion of payouts under homeowner’s liability policies. Though there was a slight decline in the total number of dog bite claims in the U.S., the cost per case has risen an astonishing 54 percent since 2003, averaging $29,400 in 2011 and making up more than one-third of total liability claims paid out by homeowners. The Insurance Information Institute, who conducted the study, explains that the increase can be attributed to increases in medical costs in addition to the size of settlements, jury awards, and judgments, all of which have notably risen above the rate of inflation in recent years.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year, and of the 800,000 that seek medical attention, 386,000 require emergency room treatment and 16 die. A California-based attorney who specializes in representing dog bite victims suggests the popularity of pit bulls in the U.S. may be a contributing factor in the rising cost of claims paid out by insurance companies. A study published in the Annals of Surgery affirms that pit bull attacks are associated with higher fatality rates and a higher risk of death, as well as higher hospital charges, than other breeds of dogs.
Traditionally, homeowner liability policies cover dog bites, but some insurance companies are modifying how they write their policies. Without coverage, an IL dog attack can result in costly medical bills and compensation worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial costs to the dog owner. For some breeds of dogs more associated with dog attacks, such as pit bulls, Rottweilers, and German shepherds, a pet owner may need special canine liability insurance. Dog owners should check with their insurance company to ensure they have the appropriate coverage to avoid expensive costs in the unfortunate event of a dog attack.
The Illinois dog bite attorneys with the Bradley Law Firm recognize how devastating a dog attack can be for a person, and understand the physical and emotional injuries that can result can be very difficult to recover from. Our dedicated legal team can help you obtain the compensation you are entitled to if you have been injured in a dog attack that was caused by the negligence of the owner. To see how we can assist you with your case and get you back on your feet, call (312) 252-1488 to schedule a no-cost consultation.
More than 4.7 million people a year are bitten by a dog nationwide, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many of these bites could be prevented by proper dog safety education. For this reason, the CDC, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and the United States Postal Service (USPS) will be working to educate Americans about dog bite prevention during National Dog Bite Prevention Week in May.
Each year, about 800,000 Americans sustain dog bite injuries, and half of this number is children, largely ages five to nine years. Dog bites and dog attacks can happen at a home or outside, but following certain guidelines can help protect dog owners from being sued in civil court as well as prevent an Illinois dog bite injury:
- Dogs with histories of aggression are inappropriate in a household with children, or a household where children visit, especially young children;
- Spend time with a dog before buying or rescuing it, with the entire household if possible;
- Properly train and socialize any dog entering the household;
- Seek immediate professional advice if the dog displays seemingly aggressive or undesirable behaviors;
- Maintain appropriate security so that the dog cannot leave your property;
- Feed, treat and socialize the dog appropriately as a neglected dog can become aggressive;
- Do not play aggressively with a dog, especially one that does not know you;
- Never approach an unfamiliar dog, especially if it is displaying aggression (i.e. growling, raised hackles);
- Do not run and scream from a dog (it will chase you);
- Do not disturb a dog, especially an unknown dog who is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies; and
- Stand your ground, without making eye contact with a dog, and allow it to sniff you before touching it.
If an Illinois dog owner does not follow these guidelines and their dog bites and/or injures a person without provocation, whether on their property or outside their property, the owner can be held liable for the injured victims’ medical expenses, loss of wages, physical pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite as the result of a negligent dog owner, the experienced Chicago dog bite injury attorneys at The Bradley Law Firm can help you determine the best course of legal action. Contact us today at 312-252-1488 for a confidential consultation at no-cost.
Each year, over 800,000 people are treated at hospitals for dog bite injuries in the United States. Although these injuries are rarely fatal, they can result in significant physical and emotional trauma. Knowing how to protect yourself and your loved ones from dog bites is crucial to prevent dog bite injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Although most dog bites occur to children between ages five and nine, children who are four or younger are more likely to be bitten in the face, head or neck, which can result in disfiguration, head trauma, or spinal cord injury. Parents can protect children and infants by never leaving them alone with a dog, even a calm one who knows the child well. Do not get a dog if your child is afraid of dogs, and be sure to spend time with a dog before adopting the animal.
Children can be taught to protect themselves from dog bites. Remind children never to approach an unfamiliar dog and to ask a dog’s owner for permission before they pet it. Teach children to stay still if a strange dog approaches them, and to curl into a ball if they are knocked over by a dog. Children should always allow a dog to sniff them first before petting.
Practicing safe habits is a good way to help prevent dog bites. Unfortunately, some dogs are aggressive by nature and may bite even if you do nothing to provoke them. When owners of aggressive dogs do not take proper steps to train the dog or keep the dog penned in, a serious dog bite injury may result.
If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite and you suspect the owner’s carelessness may be to blame, please don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Chicago dog bite lawyer. The attorneys at The Bradley Law Firm can help you understand your legal rights and options after a dog bite occurs. Call 312-252-1488 today for a free and confidential consultation on your Illinois dog bite injury case.