The Top 5 Worst States for Dog Bites: What It Means For Dog Owners and Postal Workers

The Top 5 Worst States for Dog Bites: What It Means For Dog Owners and Postal Workers

Scott Dylan Westerlund
Scott Dylan Westerlund
 | 
A large wolf can bite down with over 1,200 pounds of pressure, whereas a human exerts about 120 pounds of force. The typical pet dog falls somewhere in between with an average bite strength of 269 pounds of force.

While domesticated dogs don’t bite nearly as hard as their wolf brothers, dog bites can still do a significant amount of damage to a human. This is especially true if the dog is provoked, angry, or defending its territory. A dog’s human owner, in most cases, is responsible for ensuring their pet doesn’t cause a dog bite injury to someone else. If an attack does occur, though, then who is liable for the financial fallout?

Below, we’ll go over who is responsible for dog bite injuries and which states seem to experience the most attacks each year.

Ranking the Worst States for Dog Bites

You’ve heard that certain dog breeds are worse than others when it comes to attacking humans. Have you considered that your state may increase the likelihood of an attack happening, too, though? When taking a look at insurance claims, some states have way more dog attack incidents than others. Here’s a brief look at the five worst states for dog bites:
 
1. California
2. Florida
3. Texas
4. Illinois
5. New York

California is the worst state for dog bites, and the average payout in 2018 was around $45,000. Coming in second place, Florida experienced an average of three serious dog bite accidents every day.

Who is Liable for Dog Bite Injuries?

Dog bite accident laws vary state by state. While most states will hold the dog owner liable, other states may need to analyze the situation to determine liability. For example, some states only hold the dog owner liable if they had a reason to believe the dog had the tendency or intention of biting someone. Other states also have different laws depending on whether the attack occurred on the dog owner’s property or not.

In general, dog owners should reasonably expect to be held liable for unprovoked dog bite injuries that don’t happen in self-defense or defense of your property. In many states, like California, this notion is taken very seriously. Dog owners can not only be held financially liable for dog bite injuries, but they can be held criminally liable, too.

In 2001, a guard dog attacked a resident in a San Francisco apartment complex. The dog’s owner, who was also a resident in the complex, said the dog was a guard dog. Her pet had attacked her neighbor in the hallway, and the victim later passed away due to his injuries. As a result of the dog owner’s negligence, she was criminally charged with murder.

If you plan on getting a pet dog, then it’s crucial to understand your state’s dog bite liability laws before an accident happens.

Dogowners and Dog Bite Insurance

Since a dog owner is responsible for their pets, many responsible citizens opt to purchase dog bite liability insurance. This type of coverage can be purchased by itself, or it can be included in homeowners or renters insurance contracts.

When a dog bite accident happens and the owner has insurance, the insurance company will handle the accident. If you were bit, then you’ll need to seek coverage from the owner’s insurance policy first. If your damages exceed the policy’s limits, then the dog owner will be held responsible for the rest of your losses. When that’s the case, you’ll need to seek out a personal injury lawsuit against the dog owner.

The Worst States for Dog Bites and What You Should Do If You Get Bit

Dogs are often lovingly labeled ‘man’s best friend,’ but we need to remember that dogs are still animals with minds of their own. When a dog bite accident happens, the person may have extensive medical bills. Often, the dog’s owner will be held liable for these damages.

Did you or a loved one recently suffer a dog bite injury? Are you struggling to get the compensation you deserve from the responsible party? A good dog bite lawyer will help, and we’re here to connect you with a lawyer. Use our attorney search to get in touch with a lawyer in your area today.


This article is intended to convey generally useful information only and does not constitute legal advice. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author, not LawChamps.
Scott Dylan Westerlund

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