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California led the nation in 2014 dog-bite insurance claims

The idea that dogs frequently bite mail carriers has long been a cliché. But like most clichés, it is rooted in truth. According to the U.S. Postal Service, approximately 5,767 postal workers nationwide were attacked by dogs in 2014.

Postal workers obviously face higher risks because their job involves walking on the properties of dog owners. But these individuals are not the only victims of dog bites and attacks. In fact, dog bites (and other injuries related to dogs) accounted for more than $530 million in insurance claims during 2014. This sum represents about one-third of total payouts for homeowner liability insurance.

California led the nation last year in terms of total claims filed. According to news sources, there were 1,867 claims filed in California resulting in an average payout of $33,649 each. The next two leading states were Ohio and New York.

A vicious dog attack can have far worse consequences than a simple insurance claim. Children are frequent victims of dog bites, and may be left with permanent scars and disabilities. Victims who are attacked because a negligent dog owner failed to secure his or her animal often pursue lawsuits alleging personal injury and premises liability.

Animal behavior experts note that dogs are almost never inherently vicious or mean. Their behavior is usually the result of how their owners have trained and treated them. If properly socialized and cared for, most dogs are friendly and approachable.

If you or a loved one has been bitten or otherwise attacked by someone else's dog, it's important to understand your legal rights and options. Please seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.

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