Have you ever considered that if your dog bites someone, it could have a serious financial impact? As a dog can not be held accountable for its actions, it is the dog’s owner who has to bear the brunt if the dog bites a person. The dog owner is liable to pay for dog-induced injuries and other court liabilities in such cases. In fact, the law protects the rights of the victim of a dog bite or assault.
The financial impact associated with a dog bite can involve paying for the victim’s medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering and property damage. According to an estimate by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, 800,000 injuries due to dogs resulted in the need for medical attention and one among every five dog bites resulted in an emergency.
Dog attack victims in the US cost dog owners $1 billion in monetary losses annually. In addition to this, dog owners also lose money because of out of court settlements or payback of legal expenses for contesting the case in the court.
As the dog bite lawsuits are becoming more frequent, it is very important for the dog owners to get adequate liability coverage through insurance. The Insurance Information Institute reports that between 2003 and 2008, the dog bite claims accounted for one third of the total homeowner claims and have increased by 9 % in a span of 5 years since 2003.
With the increase in dog bite claims, the insurance companies have also increased insurance premiums by as much as 28% since 2003. Also, not all breeds can be covered by insurance. Aggressive breeds such as Pit Bulls, Dobermans, Huskies, German Shepherds and Wolf Hybrids are often not covered by insurance companies.
Taking necessary precautions is the best remedy to avoiding financial as well as legal liabilities. It is very important to check your dog’s biting behavior when it is young. In general, avoiding aggressive dog breeds is a good idea, but this can be a question of personal preference. In any case, all dogs should be socialized in a manner that they accept children around them even if the owner does not have children.
As more than 50% dog bite injuries are reported to occur on the dog owner’s property, the dog owners are better off spending money on the leashes and fences and getting their pets vaccinated for rabies once in every 3 years than being sued for damages.