With nearly 90 million pet dogs in the United States, dog bites pose a serious threat to everyday safety. Out of the over 4.5 million dog bites that occur each year in the US, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) projects that less than 1 million seek out some form of medical attention. This is particularly concerning considering the importance of medical documentation when proving the full extent of an injury within an injury claim process. Understanding some of the statistics and concerns behind the severity of dog bites will help you move forward with a potential personal injury lawsuit.
The Cost of Dog Bite Injury Claims
Per the Insurance Information Institute (III), homeowner insurance providers incurred $1,136 million in dog bite or dog bite injury related liability claims in 2022. Since 2013, the average cost per claim has reached $64,555 and increased over 131 percent. Overall, ever increasing medical costs has contributed to the serious insurance risk of dog bite injuries and the significant settlement amounts reported annually. This data suggests a potentially alarming trend that makes dog bite safety, prevention, and awareness incredibly important in any effort to limit the damages caused to victims.
Dog Bite Injury Victim Statistics
Despite less than 1 million of the projected dog bite injuries resulting in reported medical attention in 2022, victims are still paying the price. The average cost of a dog bite injury related hospital visit costs an estimated 50 percent more than an average visit. Without being able to prove the negligence or liability of another party, the total average cost of $18,200 for a dog bite related hospital stay could be left for a victim to pay. In fact, it’s estimated that dog attack victims bear over $1 billion in financial losses annually.
Proving Negligence in a Dog Bite Injury
Largely the amount of compensation available to a specific dog bite injury depends on the circumstance surrounding what happened and the state legislation where the injury took place. However, there are some important and helpful key elements to proving negligence in a dog bite injury claim:
– establishing duty of care that the defendant owed the respective victim
– proving that the defendant breached their duty of care due to their actions or lack thereof
– determining that the outlined negligent act caused the injury
– clearly establish damages relating to the injury and expenses that are recoverable
Another key area of injury claims in general is identifying your state’s statute of limitations will dictate the amount of time that an accident victim has to file suit against a negligent individual. This will provide a timeline where the potential for legal actions relating to dog bite injuries.