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Studying dog bite rates through insurance claims

Many residents in Arizona enjoy the added company of a furry companion. Owning a dog is often a joyous experience. However, dog ownership comes with many responsibilities.

Not only is a dog owner required to care for the dog and its wellbeing, but also take steps to protect others from the dog. Because dogs can present potential dangers, dog owners tend to get homeowner insurance. But, because dog bite liability claims can be costly, some dog owners forgo the high costs of this liability insurance.

According to recent research on dog bites and dog-related liability claims, these claims are down 7.2 percent in 2015. Nonetheless, the average cost for each claim is continually rising. Reports suggest that the average payout for these claims nationwide was $37,214 in 2015. This is up 16 percent from 32,072 in 2014.

The majority of a settlement or award go towards medical bills. Victims injured by a dog are likely to suffer serious injuries that require medical treatments, surgeries, rehabilitation and even therapy. The physical, mental and emotional damages caused by a dog bite could be tremendous, and according to recent data, the damages suffered by the average victim has increased since 2003.

While the average cost per claim is relatively comparative in most states nationwide, Arizona is an exception. The average cost of a claim in Arizona is $56,654, with the next highest state, California, costing around $44,933.

If one is injured by a dog, it might be possible to hold a negligent dog owner liable for the serious injuries suffered. A personal injury claim could help hold the negligent party accountable and help recover the compensation to cover the losses and damages suffered.

Source: Nasdaq.com, "Homeowners Insurance Claims for Dog Bites Are Down But Costing More," accessed on Jan. 25, 2017

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Law Office of Keith A. Hammond, P.C.

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