The size of dog bite claims filed by New Jersey dog bite lawyers dropped last year. In 2011, State Farm Insurance paid more than $109 million to settle dog bite claims filed across the country. In New Jersey, State Farm paid less in dog bite claims than the previous year; in 2011, the insurer settled 60 dog bite claims in New Jersey, resulting in just over $2 million in payments to dog bite victims.
New Jersey ranked at number 16 in a state-by-state ranking for dog bite claims in 2011. In 2010, it ranked at number 12.
Across the country, insurance companies paid out more than $500 million in payments for injuries and losses in dog bite attacks. Dog bites accounted for nearly one-third of all homeowner’s liability insurance coverage claims paid out in 2011. Those costs rose to almost $439 million last year. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average cost of dog bite claims last year was $29,396, a 53% increase from $19,162 in 2004. Part of the increase in payouts can be attributed to rising medical costs and hospitalization expenses as well as a higher number of pet dogs in the community.
Parents whose children have been attacked by a dog are more likely to seek specialized care for their child. Dog bites are horrifically injurious. A typical dog bite can result in severe damage to the mouth, face, lips, nose, scalp, and other areas that can necessitate reconstructive surgery, driving up medical and hospitalization costs.
New Jersey dog bite attorneys report that most dog bite casesinvolve irresponsible dog ownership. Often, people raise dogs that they have no business keeping in the home; many dog bite attacks involve breeds like Rottweilers and pit bulls, which are not suitable for every family or community. When you own a pit bull, for instance, you must make sure that it remains properly secured in your yard, gets plenty of exercise and has opportunities for socialization. If you are not able to provide these facilities, you should not keep a pit bull in your home.
The New Jersey dog bite lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons who have been injured in dog bites across New Jersey.