Dog Bites: A Growing Problem
Dog bites remain a problem for many on both sides of an accident: the victim and the dog owner. Dog owners are responsible for their dog’s behavior and more and more dog behaviors go unattended to by owners.
For victims, the rise in dog bite claims makes it more difficult to file a claim even if you have a very qualified dog bite lawyer. The Baltimore Sun has something to say about the rise in liability claims and dog bites.
Rise in Dog Bite Claims
Last year, 2008, dog bites cost more than $387 million according to the Insurance Information Institute. This is an increase of over 8 percent from 2007. The article in the Baltimore Sun said that dog bites account for a third of all homeowners liability claims.
So what is behind these increases? It is suggested that the rise in claims is not from an increase in the number of claims but rather the amount each claim can cost. The following quote comes from the Baltimore Sun article from Loretta Worthers, the vice president of the Insurance Information Institute.
“The rise in dog bite claims over the course of the past five years can be attributable to the increased medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards which have risen well above inflation in recent years.”
Medical Aspects of Dog Bites
Dog bites present unique medical problems that call for unique considerations. There are the obvious considerations from mauling. The additional concerns come in when you consider the effect of dog’s saliva with other injuries.
Dog’s saliva can cause serious infection and these can make some wounds from dog bites inoperable. It is no wonder then that as the cost of medical treatment rises, the cost of settlements will rise to meet them.
Medical concerns are not the only factors considered with dog bite settlements. Having a prepared and qualified dog bite lawyer can make all the difference in evaluating the concerns of a dog bite claim.