Having a pet dog can greatly improve an owner’s quality of life, especially if the dog is healthy and has a docile personality. Unfortunately, dogs that are naturally aggressive and/or are improperly cared for can be a danger to their owners and anyone who passes by the property where the dog resides.
Dog bites and attacks are a major hazard, as evidenced by insurance data. According to one recent report from Allianz Global & Specialty, dog bites made up the largest percentage of animal-related insurance claims – a category that cost nearly $500 million in losses over a five-year period.
The report analyzed nearly 470,000 insurance claims, about 2 percent of which were related to animals. Dog bites and attacks comprised 30 percent of animal-related claims. Other claims in this category related to cats, deer, birds and bedbug incidents.
Most of the time, the costs of dog attacks are covered by homeowners insurance and renters insurance. According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites and dog injuries in 2018 cost homeowners insurers approximately $675 million in liability claims payouts.
When a passerby is attacked and bitten by a dog, the injuries can result in tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills and other damages. Victims are often left with permanent physical and emotional scars. As such, the numbers reported by insurers are not surprising.
If you or a loved one was attacked by an aggressive dog with a negligent or inattentive owner, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your rights and legal options.