Pit bull attacks continue to be on the rise

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2018 | Animal Bites

According to an infographic report from Forbes Magazine, pit bulls continue to be the most dangerous dog breed in America. The danger that they pose has been documented since 1981, when a raid in Toledo uncovered a pit bull fighting ring.

Thanks to tracking by DogsBite.org, the report determined that pit bulls killed 284 people between 2005 and 2017: this amounts to 66 percent of all dog-attack fatalities in that 13-year period. This is in spite of the fact that pit bulls compose 6.5 percent of the total dog population in this country. Rottweilers were second with 45 fatal attacks recorded in the 12-year span.

Pit bull attacks also happen to be costly. State Farm, one of the leading providers of property and casualty insurance, and one of the few insurers of pit bulls, paid out more than $132 million in 2017 to settle dog attack claims: this is double the norm. Since 2008, the amount has exceeded $1 billion.

Nationwide for all breeds, dog bite claim filings went up from 18,122 in 2016 to 18,522 in 2017. Furthermore, the average cost per claim rose by 11.5 percent. The size of settlements and judgments seems to increase; this may due to the greater severity of injuries.

Those who suffer from animal bites will want to know what their options are when it comes to filing a claim. Even if the other side does not have dog owner liability insurance, they may still have homeowner insurance. Oftentimes, animal attacks are covered under this policy.

A victim can hire a lawyer, who in turn can hire experts to investigate the incident and measure the exact extent of the injuries. The attorney can then negotiate for a reasonable settlement that covers past and future medical expenses, lost wages and whatever else applies. Victims can litigate if a settlement is not achieved.