Dog bite insurance claims are on the rise nationwide, and settlements for such cases are getting bigger every year. The Insurance Information Institute recently released statistics on dog bite claims through 2009 and the numbers are up drastically from 2003, when the III first began collecting data. In 2009, dog-bite insurance claims totaled more than $412 million, markedly higher than 2008’s $387.2 million in claims.
The Institute reports that the costs of dog bites has increased greatly as medical care costs rise, and as larger court settlements are being granted across the country. The average cost per-claim was $24,840 in 2009, which was up 1.5 percent from 2008. Since 2003, dog-bite claim costs have risen 30 percent, but the actual number of claims is down 2 percent. In 2009, 16,586 dog bites were reported throughout the U.S.
Furthermore, dog bites made up more than one-third of homeowners’ insurance liability claims in 2009, according to the Chicago Tribune. Most homeowners’ and renters’ policies will cover anywhere from $100,000 to $300,000 in damages and/or medical bills. Most dog bites result in medical bills for lacerations, stitches, broken bones and other minor injuries, although more severe injuries can increase settlement amounts to much higher levels than most basic policies cover.
If a dog has bitten you or you are being legally pursued for a dog bite claim on your property, you must contact a reliable lawyer to work on your case. A lawyer can examine all the facts involved to get to the truth of any personal injury matter to save you time and money.