California is the “Dog Bite Capital” of America

More Dog Bite Claims in California Than Any Other State

Have you ever been attacked by a dog? According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, California sees more dog bite claims than any other state in the U.S. In fact, in 2013 alone, California insurance companies received a total of 1,919 claims for dog bite injuries that ended up costing them $64.7 million. Based on data collected by the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm in a recent report, that’s the highest cost of claims in America.

Puppies

And dog bite insurance claims are on the rise everywhere. Across the country, insurance companies ended up paying out a total of $484 million for dog bite injury claims in 2013, and the total number of claims actually rose by 5.5 percent from 2012. According to the article, “encounters with Fido account for more than one-third of liability costs for homeowners insurance.” A spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute indicated that the average claim cost has risen “more than 45 percent in the last decade.”

Why are costs rising? It’s not just that more dog bites are happening each year. Rather, medical costs are going up. And when dog bite cases go to court, judgments and jury awards have also been on the rise for plaintiffs in recent years.

The report from the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm did explain that some of the claims may be dog-related injuries, but not necessarily dog bite injuries: “the increase in the number of claims may be attributable to non-bite injuries that are being captured in the analysis, which can include scratching, tripping, knocking down or frightening a person.”

Dog Bite Statistics in San Diego

How often do dog bite injuries occur in the San Diego area? According to ScoopSanDiego.com, residents of San Diego sustain serious injuries from animal attacks each year. In 2011 and 2012, there were approximately 3000 dog bites reported each year. Are dog bites specific to certain breeds? In general, it’s very important to remember that any dog can bite, and that dog breeds are not foolproof predictors of whether a dog will attack a human. However, some breeds are responsible for more injuries than others based on statistics from 2012:

· In 640 reported dog bites, the breed was unknow;
· 399 bites were attributed to pit bull;
· 196 bites were attributed to Labrador retrievers; and
· 172 bites were attributed to Chihuahuas.

DogsBite.org indicates that Rottweilers, German shepherds, bullmastiffs, and boxers are also responsible for a high number of fatal dog bite injuries each year, but the American Humane Association (AHA) emphasizes that dog bites are reported more frequently when certain breeds—such as pit bulls or Rottweilers—are involved in the attacks. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a majority of dog bites happen at home and are attributed to dogs that are family pets. In other words, dog bite injuries aren’t only an issue with stray dogs or unknown dogs.

Have you been injured in a dog attack? Did your child sustain severe or fatal injuries from a dog bite? You may be able to file a claim for compensation. Contact an experienced San Diego dog bite attorney at the Walton Law Firm today.

See Related Blog Posts:

San Diego Veterinarians Join Dog Bite Prevention Campaign

Dog Bite Case in Murrieta

Photo Credit: Ricymar Photography (Thanks to all the fans!!!!) via Compfight cc

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