Dog Bite Liability

According to the CDC, approximately 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs every year, and around 17 percent of those victims require medical care. Sadly, between 10 and 20 of these incidents eventually result in death.

To curb dog bites, some communities around the United States have banned certain breeds that are perceived to be more dangerous or have a track record of violence. These laws most commonly apply to pit bulls and rottweilers.

Homeowners and renters insurance policies typically cover dog bites. However, if you own a breed that has been historically violent, you may have to pay an increased premium (even if your dog has not displayed any violent behavior). If your dog has passed obedience school tests, you may qualify for a premium discount.

It is difficult to determine how a dog’s breed will predict its disposition, much like it is hard to predict how nature versus nurture plays a role in the development of a child. Watch your dog’s behavior closely and contact your veterinarian if your dog exhibits any of the following behaviors: growling, snapping, biting family members, aggression towards strangers or showing signs of extreme fear. Your vet can refer you to a veterinary behavior specialist. While the dog is going through treatment, be extra cautious while in public and consider placing a basket muzzle over the dog’s mouth.

No dog breed is guaranteed to be attack-or bite-free. Let Texas Associates Insurors educate you on your insurance needs to protect you from a costly dog bite lawsuit.

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