Articles Posted in Dog Bites

d9xx3cjoh2s-manu-adan-300x200According to a recent article in Bloomberg, the year 2016 saw a noticeable increase in dog bite insurance claims across the country, including in places like San Marcos. Data from the Insurance Information Institute (III) and other industry groups indicates that “insurance claims for dog bites jumped 18% to 18,123 last year in the U.S.” On average, the cost for insurance companies of a dog bite is $33,230. While that single figure showed a slight decrease from 2015, it nonetheless represents a 70% increase from 15 years ago. Why has the average cost of a dog bite injury continued to remain so high? In short, the III suggests that medical costs are higher and injury victims are receiving larger settlements.

Since National Dog Bite Prevention Week is in April, now is a good time to think carefully about dog bite risks in San Marcos and steps we can take to prevent animal attack injuries.

Total Costs of Dog Bite Injuries Soar in California and Other U.S. States

d9xx3cjoh2s-manu-adan-300x200Residents of San Diego County should be aware that dog bite injuries have been on the rise in California this year. According to a report from CBS News, emergency department visits connected to dog bite injuries have risen by 44% over the last decade in the state. Between 2015 and 2016, dog bite injuries requiring emergency treatment have gone up by about 10%, according to an article in the Modesto Bee. Animal attacks can cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries, especially to young children. What has caused the recent rise in dog bite injuries in California? Who is liable for dog bites in our state?

Rise in Dog Attacks Leaves Experts Confused

As the Modesto Bee article underscores, local animal services employees simply are not certain what has led to the increase in dog attacks in California, particularly the sharp uptick between 2015-2016. The animals services director of Stanislaus County indicated that she “had contacted fellow animal services directors in the state, who had no observations about the data.” Local residents, according to the CBS News report, believe more dog owners are failing to properly train their dogs, which is resulting in more animal attacks across the state. But is there any data to support that conclusion? Currently, the only data we know for certain is that more dog bite injuries are happening in rural counties in California in comparison with urban counties.

Beat-Pitbull-fotomorgana-pasja_fotografijaMany Southern California residents know that they live in a part of the country where dog bites and animal attack injuries tend to occur with some frequency. A recent report from CBS News alerted readers to a pit bull attack that occurred in Van Nuys. The victim sustained serious injuries, including cuts and bite marks to his hands and face. As a result of his injuries, the victim required hospitalization. According to the report, the incident occurred shortly before 5:15 p.m. on a Thursday evening in a local business parking lot. This is not the only dog attack in recent memory. A recent article in the Castro Valley Patch reported that a woman was attacked by a dog late last month, and she required hospitalization to treat the multiple bite wounds she sustained. That incident occurred just before 10:00 a.m. on a Monday morning near a local golf course.

Are dog attacks actually this common in Southern California? What can we do to prevent them?

Recalling a Deadly Dog Bite Incident in San Diego Last Spring

MAILMANHow often are mail carriers in California injured by dog bites and animal attacks? According to a recent news release from the U.S. Postal Service, 6,549 mail carriers and other employees were the victims of dog attacks last year. Where did most of the dog bites occur? According to the USPS, Houston, TX was the city with the highest number of dog bites (77 in total), but San Diego was a close second with 58 dog attacks in 2015. Both numbers show an increase from 2014. For example, dog bites rose in Houston by 22%, and they actually rose by 23% in San Diego. In numerous cities across the country, the rate of animal attacks rose. As such, the USPS has made recommendations to help prevent employee dog bite injuries.

Taking Steps to Improve USPS Employee Safety

Given that dog bite injuries are on the rise in many of America’s cities—including in San Diego—the USPS has announced new safety initiatives that are aimed at preventing animal attacks on its employees. As USPS Safety Director Linda DeCarlo explained of the recent increase in dog bites, “dogs are protective in nature and may view our letter carriers handling mail to their owner as a threat.” Yet just because dogs are protective of the properties on which they live does not mean that USPS employees do not have options to be safer when they are doing their jobs.

Insurance companies often make assumptions about certain dog breeds and dog bites when it comes to policies for homeowners’ insurance. Should everyone—from homeowners to pedestrians to outdoor employees—have the same concerns about particular dog breeds or mixes? According to a recent article in Bankrate.com, companies that specialize in dog liability insurance just may be onto something new in terms of dog bite injuries and statistics.

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Are Some Dogs Riskier Than Others?

In San Diego, Einhorn Insurance, a company that specializes in dog liability insurance, recently put together a list of dog breeds that are “most often deemed dangerous by insurance companies.” However, Einhorn emphasizes that “it doesn’t agree with these opinions” and seeks to help homeowners and dog owners who are responsible.

Outside the United States, legislation that restricts ownership of certain dog breeds is quite common, according to a recent article in the Sacramento Bee. For instance, in the United Kingdom, lawmakers enacted the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991 after a pit bull terrier mauled a 6-year-old girl. That law restricts ownership of pit bulls as well as other breeds identified as particularly “dangerous” in order to prevent dog bites. In addition, it requires that dogs be “muzzled in public at all times.” Could a similar law end up governing dog ownership and responsibilities in California?

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Fatal Dog Attacks Becoming More Common

In California and across the country, fatal dog bite injuries seem to be happening with more frequency. As the Sacramento Bee article points out, the terrible dog attack in Modesto, in which an elderly woman sustained serious injuries and her son was killed by several pit bulls, is a story that has become all too common. Indeed, according to Dogsbite.org, every day around 1,000 people in the U.S. must visit an emergency room in order to receive care for a dog bite injury.

Many Californians own dogs, but it’s important to remember that dogs can be very dangerous when they bite. Indeed, a dog bite injury can quickly become infected, resulting in severe and life-threatening complications. If you or your child sustained injuries in a dog bite accident, you shouldn’t wait to speak with an experienced San Diego dog bite lawyer. You may be able to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries.

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Recent California Dog Bite Injuries in the News

According to a recent report from ABC News, a Modesto, California woman was mauled by four pit bulls, and her son died while trying to save her life. The victim, Maria Fernandez, 77, heard her son out back and saw that four pit bulls had attacked her son. “They were all around him,” she explained. Trying to help her son fend off the animal attack, she “tried to chase them with a broom,” but the dogs then attacked Maria. Her 54-year-old son, Juan Fernandez, managed to get away from the animals, but he came back to save his mother’s life.

Insurance Policies and Dog-Inflicted Damage

How often do severe dog bite injuries occur?  According to a recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek, dog bite claims are on the rise across the country.  To be sure, data collected by the Insurance Information Institute showed that insurance claims related to animal attack injuries rose by nearly six percent last year, for a total of 17,359 claims.  This figure set a new record established back in 2003.

Across the country last year, aAmerican-Pit-Bull-Terrierverage dog bite insurance claims resulted in payments of about $28,000.  That is up by nearly 45 percent over the last ten years.  And to give this figure another spin, dog bite claims account for more than 33 percent of “all homeowners insurance liability-claim dollars paid out in 2013.”

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.

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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.”

Are San Diego residents at risk of dog bite injuries? More than fifty percent of California households own dogs, according to data collected by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA). And according to the Humane Society, homes across the U.S. have more than 83 million dogs as family pets. While we don’t like to think about the dangers posed by domestic animals, dog bites occur with some frequency in Southern California. In fact, the U.S. Postal Services lists each “ten worst cities for dog attacks” each year, and three major metropolitan areas in California made the list. As such, the AVMA and local veterinary offices are hoping to advocate for dog bite prevention in San Diego, according to a report from San Diego’s local CBS 8 News.

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Have you or a loved one sustained a dog bite injury? Animal attacks can happen without warning, and they can produce life-threatening injuries, particularly when children are involved. If you were bitten by a dog, it’s important to have experienced legal counsel on your side. Contact an experienced San Diego dog bite lawyer at the Walton Law Firm today.

Veterinarians Hope to Prevent Dog Attacks

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