Are Dog Bites More Common in Florida?
Florida residents own a lot of dogs. But does the state have more dog bite claims than other states? According to a recent report in the Sun Sentinel, the answer appears to be “no.” In fact, Florida’s rate of dog accident claims is lower than the nationwide rate.
The Insurance Information Institute looked at claims submitted to State Farm, which is the largest insurer for homeowners in the country. For 2018, Floridians submitted 1,281 claims based on dog bites, which ranked #2 in the country, only behind California. The number was down from the numbers for previous years.
Although this sounds like a large number, Florida is also a large state. Adjusted by population, Florida had 6 claims for every 100,000 people. This compared to a rate of 5.5 for every 100,000 in California and 2.3 per 100,000 in Texas.
The nation’s average was much higher—6.8 per 100,000. So Florida’s rate is more than 10% lower than the nationwide average.
The Amount of Florida’s Claims is Higher
Based on the same study, the average claim for a dog bite in Florida was $43,893. Although this number was down from last year, it was higher than the nation’s average of $39,017. There might be several reasons for this. For example, the cost of health care could be higher in Florida, and one major component of a settlement for a dog bite is medical care.
Dogs are a definite source of danger. About a third of all money paid out on liability claims with homeowners insurance policies was related to dogs or dog bites.
Other Dog Bite Facts
Certain people are at greater risk of dog bites. Consider the following facts:
- Every year 4.5 million people suffer a dog bite
- Over 50% of dog bites happen at home and the victim is familiar to the dog
- Young children (ages 5-9) are at the greatest risk of dog bite injuries
In total, $675 million was paid out by insurance companies to compensate for dog bites. If you have young children, you should take definite steps to protect them so they are not attacked.
Preventing Dog Bites
The American Humane Society recognizes the dangers of dog bites and therefore recommends that owners take certain steps to minimize dog bites. For example, owners should not leave their dogs alone with small children, especially strangers.
Dog owners should also make sure that their dogs receive regular medical care. Dogs that are sick are at an increased risk of biting someone than when a dog is healthy. Also pay close attention to your dog’s moods. An agitated dog is much more likely to bite someone than if the dog was calm.
Dog Bite Attorneys in Volusia County
If a dog has attacked you, realize you are not alone. Bundza & Rodriguez is a leading law firm. Our Daytona Beach dog bites attorneys have represented many dog bite victims in negotiations with homeowners insurers for compensation. We are anxious to represent you as well.
For help, please contact us today at 386-252-5170. You can schedule a free consultation with one of our dog bite attorneys.