According to a new study, dog bites cost insurance companies an estimated $479 million in 2011, which accounts for a large chunk of payouts under homeowners’ liability policies. A news report from MSNBC.com reveals that while the study did show a slight decline in the number of dog bite claims, the price per case has risen an astonishing 54 percent since 2003, resulting in an average cost of $29,400 in 2011. This amount makes up more than one-third of total liability claims paid out by homeowners according to the Insurance Information Institute, the group that conducted the study.
The Institute states that the increase can be attributed to a variety of factors, including medical costs and the size of settlements, judgments, and jury awards given to plaintiffs, all of which have increased above the rate of inflation. In addition, a Beverly Hills-based attorney who specializes in representing dog bite victims suggested that the popularity of pit bulls in the U.S. may also potentially be a contributing factor in the rising cost of claims paid by insurance companies. A study published in the Annals of Surgery showed that pit bull attacks are associated with higher morbidity rates, hospital charges, and a higher risk of death than attacks by other breeds of dogs.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 4.7 million people are bitten by a dog annually and an astounding 800,000 of these seek medical attention. A total of 386,000 people require treatment in an emergency room and 16 die as a result of their injuries. The MSNBC.com report states that traditionally a homeowner’s liability policy covers dog bites and attacks, but some insurance companies are now modifying how their policies written.
It is imperative that canine owners in Kentucky confirm that they have coverage as serious dog attacks can run up medical bills and compensation costs for the pet owner.
A dog bite can leave a victim with very serious injuries that may require a lengthy recovery time and result in costly medical bills. Experienced Louisville dog bite attorney Tad Thomas is committed to protecting the rights of dog bite victims in Kentucky and helping them obtain the compensation they need to recover from their injuries if the attack was a result of the dog owner’s negligence.