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Have a Dog? Purchasing Liability Insurance May Be a Smart Idea


Whether you consider dog to be man’s best friend, or think that pets and people are not a perfect fit, the fact remains: every year, hundreds of people are bitten by dogs throughout the United States. This means that if you own a dog, purchasing liability insurance to protect your financial interests in the event that your dog causes injury to another person may be a smart idea. In fact, according to a recent article published in, insurance payouts for dog-related injuries hit a record high in 2016.

Dog-Related Injury Claims on the Rise

The article cites State Farm insurance, which said that it paid out the highest amount in dog-related (not necessarily dog bite) injury claims to date last year – a whopping $121 million. State Farm told reporters that it is not sure how many of these are from dog bites, as all dog-related injuries are coded in the same manner. This means that the number of dogs bites in the U.S. is hard to track, although the number of dog-related injury claims rose significantly last year. A representative for the company, Heather Paul, said that she believes that despite the rise from the year before, the ebb and flow of dog-related claim numbers has stayed “fairly consistent.” Rather than an increase in dog bites or injuries caused by dogs (i.e. two dogs chasing each other at the park run into a walker, causing a knee injury or a fall), she believes that the rise and increase in claim payouts can probably be attributed to more plastic surgeries (which are expensive), and higher medical costs.

Preventing Against Dog Bites

In addition to purchasing liability insurance to protect yourself financially if your dog does bite another person, there are a number of things that you can do to reduce the likelihood of a bite. For your own dog, make sure that your dog is properly restrained, use a leash, and avoided crowded areas or areas with children if your dog has nervous or aggressive tendencies. You should always warn others who approach your dog that a bite is possible, and advise them to keep their distance when appropriate.

To avoid being bitten by a dog yourself, take caution when approaching a new dog. Because most dog bite victims are children, talk to your kids about how to approach a dog, and how to recognize when a dog does not want to be approached.

If you are bitten by a dog, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. If the owner of the dog carries liability insurance, seeking your full recovery amount may be very possible. To learn more about how working with a dog bite lawyer can help, contact the law offices of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C., and schedule your free consultation today.


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