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Organizations observe National Dog Bite Prevention Week

Personal injury lawsuits are filed by individuals through the Pittsburgh area each day. The injuries that prompt the lawsuits vary widely and are sustained through many different types of incidents. While car accidents are likely the largest cause of personal injury lawsuits, dog bites also account for some of those suits.

This week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. In observance of this, several organizations including the U.S. Postal Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Veterinary Medical Association and insurer, State Farm are doing what they can to call attention to the issue. In addition to providing tips on how to avoid dog bites, they also provide statistics on just how many people nationally are injured in this type of incident.

According to State Farm Insurance, in 2011, the business paid out on around 3,800 dog bite claims. The total amount paid out was more than $109 million. Information provided by the Insurance Information Institute indicated that an estimated $479 million was paid on dog bite claims throughout the nation by all insurance companies.

Those numbers are not all that surprising when one considers how many dogs are pets in the country. The American Pet Products Association puts the number of dogs owned at 78.2 million. The CDCP reports that around 4.7 million individuals receive dog bites annually. Perhaps not surprisingly, more than 50 percent of those people are kids. Senior citizens and mail carriers are second and third on this respectively.

Few dog bites result in death and fewer than 50 percent necessitate the need for medical attention. Nonetheless, for those who are hurt after being injured, it is fortunate that they have the option of seeking monetary damages via a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: USA Today, "State Farm pays $109 million for dog bite claims," The Associated Press, May 17, 2012

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