Report: Kids, seniors and cyclists particularly vulnerable to dog knock-down injuries
Insurance companies paid out about $531 million for dog-related injuries in 2014, according to a recent report. That amount represents a significant increase in the average cost per claim. In 2013, the average cost for dog bites and other attacks was $27,862, and in 2014 the average cost rose to $32,072.
The report draws special attention to confrontations between dogs and vulnerable victims, including seniors and children. The increase in cost per claim was attributed not only to dog bites, but also to dog knock-downs. Seniors, kids and cyclists were particularly vulnerable to these encounters, which in some cases resulted in broken bones and blunt-force trauma injuries.
There were reportedly 16,550 dog-related injury claims in 2014, and the total number of dog attacks reported by the U.S. Postal Service came to 5,767.
The report highlights irresponsible dog ownership and poor training as common causes of dog attacks. Bites can also be prevented by teaching children not to disturb dogs while they’re sleeping or eating.
Unfortunately, dog owners often try to avoid responsibility after their pet injures someone else, and insurers do not always acknowledge the victim’s right to compensation after a dog-related injury. It is important in these cases for the victim to seek help from a personal injury attorney with experience in handling dog bite claims.
Indiana law provides that dog owners can be held civilly and criminally liable if their dog attacks someone else. For more on these matters, please see our previous post, “What does Indiana law say about dog bites?”