Just about the time that the leaves start to turn, and the warm scent of pumpkin spice fills the air everywhere you go, insurance companies report an increase in dog bite claims.
Ohio ranks third in the nation for such claims — which cost at least one insurance company $123 million in 2018 alone over 3,280 dog bites. Of course, that figure pales in comparison to the estimated $1.1 billion that particular insurer paid out over the last decade.
When you consider that those figures are just for one insurance company, you can easily start to see how serious the problem is with dog bites. Why do August and September tend to see an increase in the number of bites? It’s anybody’s guess, but it might be the weather. There are cooler mornings and evenings, prettier scenery and people want to take advantage of the opportunity to get a little exercise in with their pets before the cold, rainy weather in October hits.
Experts want to remind people of some important facts about dog bites:
- Children are the most common victims of dog bites — with those between the ages of 5 and 9 being most at risk.
- Mail carriers (who dogs may see as interlopers) and elderly people (who can’t defend themselves) are also at risk of serious injury.
- Do not go near a dog without its owner’s permission. Wait before reaching out to pet a dog until you assess its body language.
- If a dog is barking, growling or behaving fearfully, do not attempt to “make friends” with the dog. Keep your distance.
If you or your loved one suffered an injury from a dog attack, the scarring, infections, painful treatment and mental trauma may all be significant. Find out more about your legal rights as soon as possible.