Just like a owning a car, owning a pet carries with it a certain amount of responsibility. It is not a right to own these pets, but a privilege. The average settlement for a dog bite case has been rising sharply since 2002.
Back then the average settlement was around $16,000 while in 2005 the average was around $21,000. Home insurance typically covers homeowners in the event their dog bites or injures another individual. If you have questions about your policy or are unsure if you are covered for dog bite incidents, you can ask either your insurance company or a personal injury attorney specializing in dog bites to consult with you to about your rights and exposure to lawsuits.
Although there is no guaranteed way to prevent a dog from biting, Los Angeles dog bite attorney Michael H. Silvers, says pet owners can take a number of precautionary measures to prevent their pets from being as aggressive. The first of these is to spay or neuter your pets. Spayed and neutered pets are less likely to roam around and fight other dogs. They will be easier to keep within the bounds of your house and are less likely to bite.
Socialize your dog by introducing it to other people. This will prevent the dog from being frightened under normal social circumstances. It is important to have each member of the household participate in training your dog. Do not send your dog away to be trained. Only you can train your dog in your house. Do not leave dogs to themselves in the backyard or tied to a chain away from social encounters. These dogs tend to be more dangerous and have a tendency to roam alone. Also remember that even the most experienced owners can benefit from training classes.
Do not teach your dog bad manners like chasing or attacking others even in fun. Dogs may not have the capacity to understand the difference between play and a dangerous situation. Set appropriate limits for your dog and seek help from an animal behaviorist or veterinarian if it is exhibiting dangerous behavior towards people or other animals. Local animal care/control and the American Humane Society may also be of assistance.
Remember to license and provide vaccinations for your dog as required. You are ultimately responsible for your dog. Many insurers are trying to limit losses from dog bites. Some require signed liability waivers for dog bites while others charge higher premiums for dog owners or owners of more aggressive breeds. Some will keep coverage the same as long as the owner takes the dog to classes aimed at keeping it from being aggressive.
A dog owner who is legally responsible for an injury to a person or property may be responsible for reimbursing the injured person for medical bills, time off work, pain and suffering and property damage. If you or someone you know has been injured by a dog attack, consult with a personal injury dog bite attorney specializing in and dog attacks.