The Alarming Rise in Dog Bite Injuries
As National Dog Bite Prevention Week wraps up this April, troubling statistics have been released regarding the recent uptick in dog bite injuries. A report released by State Farm Insurance in collaboration with the Insurance Information Institute revealed that in 2016, there were 18,123 dog-related injuries reported. That’s a substantial rise from 2015, which saw 15,352 dog bite injuries reported. If you or a loved one is attacked by someone else’s dog, you should know that there are options for securing compensation for medical bills, emotional trauma, and similar losses.
Dog bite injury compensation
As they recover from their physical wounds and emotional trauma, dog attack victims can explore legal avenues for demanding compensation from the negligent party. Since 2003, the average compensation paid for dog bite injuries has climbed by 73.4 percent. Insurance Information Institute Vice President Loretta Worters said this jump in compensation was due to “increased medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments, and jury awards given to plaintiffs.”
In 2016, the average claim for dog bite injuries resulted in compensation of $33,230. Californians had the highest number of dog bite injuries—1,934. However, New York had the highest payout per claim at $55,671.
For victims of dog attacks, these high payouts are a way to get their lives back on track after suffering setbacks like substantial medical bills, lost wages, disfigurement, and psychological trauma. Dog bite claims can also cover damaged or destroyed property, such as torn clothing or handbags.
What to do after a dog attacks
During an attack, your first priority is to get away from the dog. You can use a trash can, handbag, briefcase, or any other nearby object to put a barrier between you and the dog. Once you’re safe, you should call 911 immediately if you’ve been seriously injured. Otherwise, get to the nearest urgent care center or hospital and inform the doctor that you’ve just been attacked by a dog. Be sure to save your co-pay receipts and all other documentation pertaining to the attack.
You’ll need to contact the animal control agency for your municipality and provide information about the dog, such as where the incident took place and whether you know who the owner is.
Your next priority is to contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options. In New York, dog bite laws are quite complex. Your lawyer will consider all aspects of the case, including whether the dog had previously been declared dangerous due to a prior attack.
Exploring your options after a dog attack?
Call the personal injury law firm of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye in NYC today to request a free case review. There’s no charge and no obligation. During your case review, one of our skilled litigators will explain the merits of your case and discuss your options for securing compensation for your dog bite injuries. Our dedication to upholding the rights of our clients has contributed to the sterling reputation of our law firm in the Bronx and Long Island.
Additional “dog bite injury” resources
- Insurance Information Institute, Dog Bite Homeowners Liability Claims Nationwide Increased 18 Percent; California, Florida And New York Lead Nation In Number of Claims, http://www.iii.org/press-release/dog-bite-homeowners-liability-claims-nationwide-increased-18-percent-california-florida-and-new-york-lead-nation-in-number-of-claims-040517
- DogsBite.org, Dog Bite Statistics, http://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-statistics.php