Last week’s blog focused on the incidence of dog bite attacks. This week’s blog focuses on the costs associated with dog bites and dog bite injuries. When a victim has been injured by a dog bite in Massachusetts, pet owners are commonly liable to compensate victims for their injuries and damages regardless of liability except in a few special circumstances.

On average, insurance companies paid $32,000 for dog bite injury claims on homeowner’s insurance policies in 2014. In other circumstances, homeowners may not always have the correct or adequate insurance coverage but remain liable to injured victims and victims otherwise harmed by their pets. In total, dog bites and dog-related injuries amounted to $530 million in 2014 and represented greater than a third of all homeowner’s insurance liability claims paid last year.

Although the number of claims fell slightly last year, the cost per claim increased by 15 percent during the same time period. Overall, the cost of dog injury related claims has increased 57 percent in the past decade. This is partly due to the amount of compensation being awarded to victims. It is recommended that pet owners carefully research pet ownership and exercise caution when bringing a pet into a home with small children.

Massachusetts’ dog bite laws are designed to protect victims who have been harmed in an animal attack and to ensure they received appropriate compensation for the damages they have suffered. For that reason, it is important for dog bite attack victims to be familiar with the legal protections and options available to them in Massachusetts when they have been harmed.

Source: MSN.com, “You won’t believe how much it costs when your dog bites someone,” Beth Braverman, May 15, 2015