Weird News: Top Ten States for Dog Bite Claims

By US Daily Review Staff. Source: State Farm.

Each year, almost five million people are bitten or attacked by dogs.  Dog bites are a serious public health problem that can cause both physical and emotional damage to victims and considerable cost to communities.

Top 10 states for State Farm Dog Bite Claims in 2011

State Number of claims Claims paid (estimated)
1. California
527 $20.3 million
2. Illinois
309 $10.0 million
3. Texas
219 $5.1 million
4. Ohio
215 $5.4 million
5. Pennsylvania
197 $4.9 million
6. Michigan
181 $7.0 million
7. Florida
157 $5.1 million
8. Indiana
139 $3.5 million
9. New York
133 $6.1 million
10. Minnesota
117 $3.5 million

State Farm paid more than $109 million as a result of the nearly 3,800 dog bite claims in 2011. The Insurance Information Institute (III) estimates that in 2011, insurers across the country paid nearly $479 million in dog bite claims.

A dog’s tendency to bite depends on such factors as heredity, obedience training, socialization, health, and the victim’s behavior. There are good dogs and bad dogs within every breed, just as there can be responsible and irresponsible owners of each breed. State Farm does not refuse insurance based on the breed of dog a customer owns in any U.S. state.

Children and seniors are frequent victims of dog bites. In fact, more than half of all dog bite victims are children.

“Among children, the rate of dog bite-related injuries is highest for those ages 5 to 9 years,” says Dr. Patricia Olson, Chief Research Officer for American Humane Association. “It is important to note that children are often bitten by a dog in their own household. Thus, supervision by parents and teaching children how to avoid being bitten is crucial for protecting both the child and the dog. Prior to obtaining a dog, future owners should consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist to learn what type of dog might be the best match for their family. When a newborn baby arrives, it is important to properly introduce the pet to the infant (a good source of information is When Pet Meets Baby by American Humane Association). While any dog might bite if provoked, it is also important to note that dogs truly do become a child’s best friend.”

In addition to stressing responsible pet ownership, State Farm and American Humane Association encourage responsible behavior and caution around dogs, including family pets.  Under the right circumstances, any dog might bite.

  • NEVER leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
  • Be on the lookout for potentially dangerous situations.
  • Start teaching young children — including toddlers — to be careful around pets.
  • Children must be taught NOT to approach strange dogs.
  • Always ask permission from a dog’s owner before petting any dog.

For more information about dog bite prevention, visit the State Farm Learning Center or the American Humane Association website.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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