NEW YORK – Nearly a million people are sent to the hospital every year after suffering injuries stemming from a dog bite. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the number of people to have been bit by a dog to be much more, nearly 5-million people.
“About 885,000 people require medical attention for dog bite-related injuries,” the CDC states on its website. “Half of these are children.”
Although the percentage of severe dog bites has decreased over the past decade, injuries are becoming more and more costly. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowner’s insurance liability claims paid out in 2013 and cost more than $483 million.
“Dog bites can be physically painful and on top of the physical and emotional pain, they can sometimes be disfiguring and expensive, especially in New York,” dog bite lawyer Ross Cellino said.
The III estimates the average claim cost in New York at over $50,000.
Recently, a celebrity “dog whisperer” was sued after a woman suffered disfiguring injuries from a pit bull just days after the dog was released from the celebrity’s “Dog Psychology Center.”
New York dog bite lawyers say children and adult men are most at risk of suffering a vicious dog bite and offer preventative safety tips:
-Do not approach an unfamiliar dog
-Do not run from a dog or scream
-Don’t allow children to play with a dog unless under adult supervision
-Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first
While these tips are best practices around any type of dog, bites cannot always be prevented and a dog bite victim may rely on legal assistance to fully recover, physically, emotionally and financially.