29 May

Dog Bites Can be a Costly Affair

Posted by on May 29, 2012

We love our dogs in this country. We build parks for them. We dress them up in clothing, jewelry, sunglasses, and hats. We have birthday parties for them. A woman in Phoenix, whose dog went missing, offered $10,000 for the return of said dog. Dogs become part of the family.

But there also can be another side to the dog story. What happens when the dog/human relationship doesn’t go the way of the American Dream? It can often end in tragedy for both human and dog.

Dog bites are far from uncommon, but the compensation for such bites seems to be less common than one would think. Dog bite losses exceed $1 billion each year. Statistics show that each day, there are about 1,000 dog bites in the U.S. that require emergency room care. These injuries can range from minor cuts and abrasions to lacerations and cranial/facial reconstructive issues. Persons can be scarred, maimed, or disfigured in any number of ways. Yet, of the approximately 850,000 victims of dog bites annually, merely 15,000 to 16,000 will seek payment from homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies.  That equates to about one third of one percent of the attacks.

Often times, the injuries occur to young children as they are most likely to provoke an attack. Perhaps the dog is startled, in pain, or feels threatened in some way. Dog owners are sometimes ignorant of how to properly care for or train their canine companions. The most common occurrences happen in a normal social situation, and generally on the dog owner’s property. Most severe injuries occur with children under the age of 10 and often include facial trauma. There can be hospital stays and lifelong results to these injuries. 

Any number of situations might provoke a dog bite from an otherwise friendly pet.  Regardless of the provocation, there are still costs associated with such injuries.   Compensation for those injuries is available.

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