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California Leads Country Dog Bite Claims

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but they also bite 4.7 million Americans every year. In California, we may be at higher risk than the rest of the country.

A recent study by State Farm Insurance found California had the highest number of dog bite claims in the country, with 451 claims costing $17.1 million. In total, State Farm had 3,670 dog bite claims in 2012 and paid more than $108 million.

As San Diego injury lawyers, we have seen how devastating dog bites injuries can be, particularly for small children. Serious bites often require reconstructive surgery and may even leave permanent scarring.

Unfortunately, children are the most frequent dog bite victims. In fact, they account for half of all dog bite injury victims.

We encourage parents to teach children basic safety around dogs. Below are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Do not approach an unfamiliar dog.
  • Do not run from a dog and scream.
  • Remain motionless (e.g., “be still like a tree”) when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
  • If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still (e.g., “be still like a log”).
  • Do not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.
  • Immediately report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior to an adult.
  • Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.
  • Do not disturb a dog who is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
  • Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.
  • If bitten, immediately report the bite to an adult.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in an animal attack, don’t hesitate tocontact a San Diego personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.