Dogs are the most popular pet in the United States with 54.4 million households owning at least one canine in 2015. There are an estimated 77.8 million dogs owned as pets in the United States, and Georgia is home to a large portion of these pets. Recent reports from the Insurance Information Institute show that dog bite claim value is on the rise, having doubled since 2003.
Dog Bite Claims By The Numbers
In a nationwide study, the average cost of a dog bite claim in 2003 was $19,162. Over time, the cost increased dramatically, reaching $32,072 in 2014 and $37,214 in 2015. Between 2003 and 2015 there was a 94.2 percent increase in the cost of claims.
The number of claims has fluctuated over the years, with an all-time high in 2013 with 17,359 claims. Compared to the 15,352 claims in 2015, even though the number of claims has decreased, the value of the claims increased to $571.3 million in 2015, up 76.2 percent since 2003.
Dog Bite Claims in Georgia
The American Veterinary Medical Association's 2012 Pet Ownership Survey found 55 percent of Georgia households own pets, and almost half of those households own dogs.
This could be a factor in Georgia making the list of top ten states for high numbers and costs for dog bite claims. In 2015, victims filed an estimated 381 dog bite claims with an average cost of $37,042. The total cost of Georgia dog bite claims that year reached an estimated 14.1 million dollars.
Protecting Yourself from Dog Bite Attacks
Children between the ages of five and nine years of age are at the highest risk of being bitten by a dog, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even dogs normally friendly to your child can turn violent if provoked or threatened. Never leave your children unsupervised with any dog, even if you believe the dog is friendly. When meeting new dogs in public, the child should first ask the owner if it is okay to approach the animal.
Most dog attacks occur with dogs familiar to the victim. Always ask the owner for permission before entering a dog's space. If a dog approaches you, very slowly extend a hand to let it investigate you if it seems friendly. If the dog is barking, snarling, or has its ears back, remain still and avoid sudden movements. Do not look the dog directly in the eye and turn to the side to appear less threatening.
If you notice stray or aggressive dogs in your neighborhood and cannot locate an owner, call your local animal control department. If you believe a neighbor's dog is a potential threat, call animal control or your local police department to intervene.
When Dogs Attack, Call Brauns Law for Legal Help
Dog owners are responsible for keeping their pets contained and under control. If a dog bites you without provocation, call a dog bite attorney from Brauns Law to learn about recovering damages from your injuries.
Contact us at 404-418-8244 to schedule a consultation regarding your rights to file a claim against the dog's owner.