Dog-Related Injury Claims Top $1 Billion In 2022
We tend to think of dogs as man’s best friend, but the truth is that even the sweetest, friendliest dog can attack at any time. While dog bite claims have actually decreased, the payout for these bites has increased by 28% from 2021 to 2022. This is based on information from State Farm and the Insurance Information Institute.
In 2022, there were 17,597 dog-related injury claims in the United States. This is compared to 17,989 claims in 2021, so the numbers have decreased by nearly 400 claims. However, despite a 2.2% decline, the total cost of claims increased significantly, from $882 million to $1.13 billion.
In 2021, the cost per dog injury claim was $49,025. In 2022, this number rose to $64,555,which is a 31.7% increase. From 2013 to 2022, the cost per claim has risen dramatically by nearly 132%. This is due to increased medical costs. Plus, the size of settlements, judgments, and jury awards are trending upward.
Since 2013, dog bite claim costs have increased almost every year. From 2017 to 2018, they dropped slightly, from $686.3 million to $674.9 million. Otherwise, they have been increasing steadily, with 2022 being the only year in which costs surpassed $1 billion.
In 2022, more than a third of the dog-related injury claims were from five states: California, Florida, Texas, New York, and Michigan. California also had the highest average cost per claim at $78,818.
Who is liable for all these injuries? It depends, as dog bite laws vary from state to state. Some states have a one free bite, which means the dog owner is not liable the first time around. Some states, like New Jersey, are strict liability states, which means owners are always liable for their dog’s actions. Anyone bitten by the dog may file a lawsuit against the owner, as long as the victim did not trespass on private property or provoke the dog. Then there are four states that have no dog bite laws: Arkansas, Mississippi, Kansas, and North Dakota.
Typically, the dog owner does not pay out a claim from their own pocket. Homeowners and renters insurance policies typically cover dog bite damages. Many have limits typically between $100,000 and $300,000. Some insurance companies will not insure homeowners who own “dangerous” dogs such as Dobermans, pitbulls, Rottweilers, Chow Chows, wolf dogs and hybrids, and German shepherds. Some insurance companies may decide on a case-by-case basis.
Contact a New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Dog bites are a serious issue, as seen by this insurance report. They happen often and when they do, they can result in tens of thousands of dollars in damages.
Contact a Morristown dog bite injury attorney from The Law Offices of Michael P. Burakoff if you have been bitten by a dog. Having an experienced attorney on your side can be of enormous benefit, helping you to better understand the law and your legal options. Schedule a free consultation by calling (973) 455-1567 or filling out the online form.