Company Pays out $109M in Dog Bite Injury Claims in Asheville and Elsewhere in 2011

Dogs are more dangerous than you think. As a matter of fact, recent statistics from State Farm Insurance show it paid out nearly $110 million for nearly 4,000 dog bite claims in just 2011, according the Mansfield News-Journal.

And that’s just that one insurance company. You can imagine what the total payout for these injuries were – A LOT! Loretta Worters, a spokesman for the insurance company, estimates that insurance companies nationwide dished out nearly $500 million throughout 2011 for dog-bite injuries in Asheville and elsewhere.
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In 2010, State Farm paid out only about $90 million for these claims. Experts are trying to determine the reason for the increase. Every year, more than 4 million people are bitten by dogs. About half of these victims are children. Nearly 1 million of these victims had to seek medical attention following these accidents. To make matters even worse, nearly 20 die every year from dog bite injuries.

Our Asheville dog bite attorneys understand that some are at higher risks for these accidents than others. Children between the ages of 5- and 9-years-old and Postal Service workers are two of those groups. For just Postal Service workers, more than $1 million was dished out for these injuries. Dogs of all shapes and sizes can attack. Even the calmest of dogs can snap and can attack. It’s important to practice caution around all dogs, even the ones you know. Many dog bite accidents happen when people are bitten by familiar pups.

For these reasons, the third full week in the month of May is always used as National Dog Bite Prevention Week. During this time, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the U.S. Postal Service and State Farm release various dog bite statistics and launch a number of dog bite-awareness campaigns to promote dog safety.

The average cost in 2011 for one is these injuries was nearly $29,000, said Martinez.

In the state of North Carolina, a dog owner faces misdemeanor penalties if a dangerous dog attacks someone and causes physical injuries that require medical attention or treatment in excess of $100. Owners also face strict liability in civil damages for any injuries or property damage the dog inflicts upon a person, another animal or a person’s property. If someone suffers from a dog bite injury and requires medical treatment, they’re required to report it to a health director and the dog must be confined for ten consecutive days for monitoring purposes.

A Dangerous Dog:

-A dog that, without provocation, inflicts serious injury or kills someone.

-A dog that has been determined by a Board by the county or municipal authority responsible for animal control to be dangerous because the dog has previously engaged in one or more of the behaviors.

-A dog that has been harbored or owned for any reasons pertaining to dog fighting. Any dog that has been trained to fight will be considered dangerous.

The personal injury lawyers at Lee Law Offices, P.A. are an experienced team of attorneys who are dedicated to protecting the rights of bite victims in Asheville and elsewhere throughout both North Carolina and South Carolina. If you or someone you love has been injured in a dog-bite accident or other animal-bite accident, call us today to discuss your rights at a free and confidential appointment. Call 1-800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:

North Carolina Animal Bites Curbed with Seizure of Snakes, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, March 1, 2012

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