This week is officially National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which provides an opportunity to reflect on a number of statistics involving dog bites, dog attacks, and the rights of injured victims. National Dog Bite Prevention Week is supported by a number of organizations that aim to decrease dog-related injuries across the country. These include the American Humane Association, which highlights the fact that dogs are more likely to be abandoned or euthanized following an attack, United States postal workers, nearly 7,000 of whom were dog attack victims in 2016, and State Farm insurance.
With the involvement of State Farm, organizers are able to highlight the real toll dog attacks can have on the lives of victims and the owners of dogs. For instance, the insurance provider reports that it paid $121 million in insurance payouts related to dog attack and dog bite injuries in 2016, the largest amount it has paid for dog-related injury claims in company history.
As a Detroit personal injury law firm that has represented many victims of dog bites throughout the years, our legal team at Goodman Acker P.C. has seen the real and sometimes devastating costs dog bite injuries can have on the lives of victims and their families. From medical expenses and lost income from missing work to physical pain and suffering and the emotional toll of recoveries that can take months or even lifetimes to heal, dog attacks have significant consequences. They can also disrupt the lives of dog owners.
While insurance payouts for dog-related injuries may be on the rise, it is difficult to say whether dog bites themselves are increasing. What is known, however, is that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that roughly 4.5 million people suffer injuries as a result of incidents involving dogs each year. What’s more, many of these victims are children. This data may not capture the full scope of the issue, as insurance providers commonly include non-dog bite injuries under one classification. For example, a victim can suffer injuries when a dog jumps on them, causing them to fall. Still, there are rising costs associated with treating dog-related injuries, including the need for plastic surgery to minimize impairment and scars resulting from bites.
As part of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, experts are calling attention to the ways that dog attacks and dog bites can be prevented. Some of their critical recommendations include:
Even when proper precautions are taken by non-owners, dog bites can still occur. This is especially true when owners fail in their duty to take reasonable measures of securing their pets and keeping others safe from preventable harm. Thankfully, victims do have rights following a dog attack or dog bite, and our attorneys at Goodman Acker P.C. are prepared to leverage over 75 years of experience to help victims and families navigate the legal process toward the compensation they need and deserve.
If you have questions about a dog bite or dog-related injury, your rights as a victim, and what our firm can do to help, contact us today for a free consultation.
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