An article by Forbes magazine recently broke down the average costs of dog attacks for dog owners. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average dog bite claim was a little over $26,000, with payouts rising and increasing over 35% since 2003. The magazine attributes this rise in payout amounts to the increase in medical costs and larger jury and judge verdicts. If your dog bites another person, you could be tried under both negligence and dog-bite statutes, depending on where you live. If you dog is a previous offender, you may also have trouble getting home insurance. If you rent your house or apartment, also look into renter’s insurance, since you will be responsible for the dog attack claim, even if you do not own the property.
To avoid dog bite claims, it is best to choose a breed of dog that is not traditionally aggressive. Active socialization to people and other animals, obedience training, and keeping dogs restrained, whether in a fenced-in yard or by using a leash, are all effective ways of avoiding a potentially expensive dog bite claim. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite and would like to consult with Attorney Stoehr at the Law Offices of Attorney Doug Stoehr, please contact our law office.