In general, people are being subjected to fewer dog bites each year — likely due to educational efforts directed toward owners and legislation on local levels that help keep pets under control.
Unfortunately, a few states still don’t seem to have their dogs under control — and Ohio is one of them.
According to information released by the insurance company State Farm, Ohioans filed 177 insurance claims related to dog bites in 2018. The only states with worse records that year were California (with 409 claims) and Illinois (with 288 claims).
Of course, the number of claims over a dog bite that make it to an insurance company is a lot smaller than the actual number of dog bites every year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are around 47 million dog bites each year.
Nationally, State Farm only handled 3,280 claims — but those cost the insurer a total of $123 million. Only $4.8 million of that came from claims in Ohio.
Statistically, the average dog bite injury causes $27,000 worth of damage to the victim, taking into account his or her hospital visits, doctor visits, medication for pain, antibiotics, wound care and plastic surgery (when necessary). The emotional trauma and pain and suffering are additional expenses. Someone with a serious injury from a dog bite might also miss a significant amount of work — so it’s easy to see how the expenses can quickly add up.
Not everyone realizes that they can often claim compensation for a dog bite. While there are a number of factors that have to be considered, it’s often possible to press a claim against the dog owner’s insurance company. If you’ve fallen victim to an attack by a neighbor’s dog, find out more about your legal right to compensation as you recover.