Earlier this week State Farm released data ranking the top states for dog bite claims. It was not a real surprise that CA, home to both more people and dogs than any other state, ranked #1 on the list with 527 claims. Nor was it a real surprise that OR and WA showed up in the middle of the list at #21 and #27 respectively.
The surprise to these claims is the cost. Last year in WA, 47 claims were reported to State Farm at a cost of $1.7 million while 62 claims were reported in OR at a cost of $900,000. That is nearly $24,000 per claim in the Pacific NW.
The important point to note is that each one of these claims represent both physical and emotional damage to a victim and that any dog can bite in certain circumstances.
Nearly 60% of all dog bites involve children. Now that the weather is beginning to turn and we start to take the family and pet outdoors more consider the following tips:
• Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
• Teach children NOT to approach strange dogs.
• Teach children to ask permission from a dog’s owner before petting.
• Do not run past a dog. Dogs naturally love to chase and catch things. Do not give them a reason to chase you.
Remember it is not the breed of the dog, it is the way it is brought up and the surrounding circumstances that will cause it to bite.
Be safe and enjoy your pets this summer!
For more information on Dog Bites visit: http://www.iii.org/issues_updates/dog-bite-liability.html