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Dog Bite Insurance Claims: Where Does Ohio Rank?

Ohio dog bites resulted in $5 million in insurance claims payouts during 2012, according to State Farm. That seems like a big total, but how does it compare to other states? The top five states for number of claims are below; the sums of their insurance payouts are listed, too.

  • California, 451 claims ($17.1 million)
  • Illinois, 337 claims ($9.0 million)
  • Texas, 236 claims ($4.3 million)
  • Ohio, 235 claims ($5.0 million)
  • Pennsylvania, 165 claims ($4.5 million)

As you can see, Ohio has one of the worst dog attack problems in the nation. Only California, Illinois, Florida ($7.1M) and New York ($6.4M) paid out more in insurance claims than the Buckeye State in 2012. Lawmakers have recognized the problem, as Ohio law holds dog owners strictly liable for the injuries or death they cause others.

Despite efforts to reduce the danger, the number of Ohio dog bites stays relatively steady each year. It's an ongoing concern, because most victims are young children. Dog bite injuries bring more than pain, as they can cause permanent scarring, nerve damage and psychological trauma.

According to State Farm, the average insurance settlement for a dog bite in 2012 was about $30,000. That seems like a large sum, but that figure would be a gross underpayment in many Ohio dog bite cases.

Please speak with an experienced Cincinnati dog bites lawyer before ever accepting an insurance offer. By accepting a claims offer, you generally eliminate your ability to collect further damages, even if the injuries end up being more serious than doctors previously thought. Most reputable Ohio personal injury lawyers offer free initial consultations, so you have nothing to lose.

Source: Insurance Journal, "On A Leash: Dog Bite Insurance Claim Trends," May 15, 2013

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