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US Home Insurers Spend $412 Million on Dog Bite Costs Annually

The Insurance Information Institute says that US home insurers spent 6.4% more on dog bite costs last year than they did in 2008. Dog bite injuries cost $412 million in 2009-up from $387.2 million the year before-with the average claim costing over $24,000. The number of dog bite claims also went up by 4.8% to 16,586 injury claims.

With more than 4.7 million people becoming dog bite victims every year in the US-close to 900,000 of them will require medical attention-dog bites make up one-third of homeowners’ insurance liability claims. Property and casualty insurer Liberty Mutual Group says that over 50% of dog attacks takes place on the pet owner’s property.

In Massachusetts, dog bite victims may be able to hold the dog’s owner liable for Boston personal injury. This is a strict liability state, which means the pet owner does not have to be negligent to be held financially responsible. Also, the dog doesn’t even need to have attacked anyone else in the past for the owner to be held liable. You will, however, have to prove that you or your loved one (as the injured party) did not provoke the dog and did not trespass on the grounds where the Massachusetts dog attack took place.

Dog Bite Facts
• Dog bite victims are twice as likely to be male than female.
• Dog bites are a leading cause of child injuries.
• 10-20% of dog bite victims were strangers to their animal attackers.
• Younger dogs and male dogs are more likely to bite than older and female canines.
• Chow Chows and German Shepherds are the pure bred dogs most often involved in dog bite accidents.
• Pit Bulls and Rottweilers are the breeds most involved in fatal dog attacks.
• Mixed breed dogs are more likely to attack than pure bread dogs.
• On average, a dog bite victim will spend about 3.6 days in the hospital.

Dog-Bite Costs for Home Insurers Rise to $412 Million, Bloomberg Businessweek, August 18, 2010
Insurance Information Institute

Related Web Resources:
Preventing Dog Bites, State Farm

Preventing and Avoiding Dog Bites, Ussartf.org
Our Boston dog bite law firm represents injury clients throughout Massachusetts.