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Dog Bite Injuries Expected to Rise As Restrictions are Lifted

The Insurance Information Institute reported that in 2020, insurance companies paid out a total of $853.7M million for 16,991 dog bite and injury claims, at an average of $50,245 per claim. That doesn’t include the totals from litigation and out-of-court settlements, where dog bite victims seek compensation for larger medical costs, lost wages and permanent disfigurement. Here in the Hudson Valley, our personal injury law firm has worked with many dog bite victims who have suffered injuries like wound site infections, hemorrhaging, broken bones, nerve damage, and psychological trauma from dog bites.

During COVID-19, a number of different studies and reports came out about how the pandemic caused different trends related to dog ownership and bites. Here are some of them:

1. 21 Percent of Homeowners Reported Adopting a Dog in 2020

According to a report from Shelter Animals Count, the adoption rate for dogs climbed by 9% in 2020. Subsequent news reports have shown that a larger than usual number of dogs have been returned to shelters or have proven to be untrainable.

2. Lockdowns caused more child-dog interactions

During the first month of the COVID lockdowns in March of 2020, dog bites were up by 21.6%.

3. Dogs get stressed if humans are stressed

The increase in dog bites was partially attributed to dogs feeling stressed because their owners were stressed.

4. Working from home and no school caused more dog bites

Another reason for the increase was the sudden increase of adults working from home while children stayed home from school, and less overall parental supervision.

5. Children and teenagers disproportionately suffer from dog bites

In general, children and teenagers suffer a disproportionate number of serious dog bites.

6. New York Had the 6th Highest Number of State Farm Dog Bite Claims

7. Dog Bite claim costs have risen by 162% since 2002

8. A new spike in dog bites could come as restrictions are lifted

As more dogs adopted during the pandemic are out in a post-COVID restrictions world, some experts believe that their lack of training may lead to an increase in dog bites.

If you’ve been injured by another person’s dog, give us a call at 845-600-0000 to schedule a free personal injury consultation at our offices in Kingston, NY and Poughkeepsie.