The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately 4.5 million people suffer dog bites each year, and that almost one in five of persons bitten by dogs (about 885,000 people) require medical attention for their dog-bite related injury. In 2006, more than 31,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten. It may not surprise you to learn that children are the most at risk of dog bites, with the rate of injury being the highest for children ages five through nine.
If you are a dog owner, the CDC has published guidelines to help you be safe and responsible. These guidelines include consulting with a professional about the breed of your dog to learn its tendencies, learning whether your specific dog has a history of aggression, having your dog spayed or neutered, avoiding playing aggressively with your dog, and, socializing your dog. Of course, it goes without saying that dog owners should not let their dogs loose in public spaces outside of their supervision and control.
On May 17, 2012 the Insurance Information Institute reported that dog bites account for more than one-third of all liability claims on homeowner’s insurance policies, and that in 2011, payments on these claims totaled nearly $479 million. State Farm alone is reported to have paid out more than $109 million for dog bite injuries in 2011. The III also reported that in 2011 the average cost paid out on the 16,292 dog bite claims for that year was $29,396.00. Studies have concluded that male dogs are responsible for many more dog bites than female dogs, and that pit-bulls account for more dog bites than any other breed.
Unfortunately, many of the safety guidelines and practices are not followed as they should be, and so in Washington: The owner of any dog which shall bite any person while such person is in or on a public place or lawfully in or on a private place including the property of the owner of such dog, shall be liable for such damages as may be suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of such dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness. (RCW 16.08.040.) If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog bite, call us now to speak with our dog bite attorneys. When it comes to getting the best possible results and protecting all of your rights for you and your family, you need the experience and skill of James Sorrels. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.
Law Offices of James S. Sorrels
The Sunset Building
23607 Highway 99, Suite 3A
Edmonds, WA 98026
Law Offices of James S. Sorrels - Seattle
3131 Western Ave., Suite 410
Seattle, WA 98121
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