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May 21st, 2012

Dog Bites Man

A recent study performed by the insurance industry says dog bite claims in 2011 cost the industry $478.9 million, a 12 percent increase from 2010.  Specifically, State Farm California had 527 dog bite claims and paid more than $20.3 million as a result.  This is a 31% increase in claims over 2010, and $20.3 million is double the payout in the second highest state, Illinois ($10.0 million).  These types of attacks account for more than one-third of all liability payouts because of legal settlements and jury awards. 

While dog bites are a serious public health concern, it is no surprise that perennial hellholes lead the list of states with the highest number of claims and the most money paid out.  More than 5 million people are either bitten or attacked by dogs each year, but only a small percentage choose to take the problem to court.  California and Illinois are the top two states for State Farm Dog Bite Claims in 2011 and they are the only two states that paid over $5 million in claims, $20.3 and $10.0 million respectively.  Trial lawyers in these states are seizing on yet another money making opportunity and taking advantage the situation.

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