Should I file a claim after being bitten by a dog?

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The Dog That Bit You

Man’s best friend has sharp teeth. And all dogs can bite, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

“We know that dog bites are not a breed-specific issue and that any dog can bite,” said Dr. Mike Topper, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association. “Veterinarians see firsthand the needless heartbreak a dog bite can cause.”

More than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, according to the non-profit group, American Humane. Some 800,000 seek medical treatment. Dallas ranks 8th in dog attacks on letter carriers, a 2017 U.S. Postal Service survey showed.

Dog bite victims can and do file claims. A number are successful in reaching cash settlements. State Farm alone paid out $132 million in dog-related injuries in 2017, averaging $36,573 per claim, the insurance company said.

Every situation is different and it’s not uncommon for victims to hesitate about taking action because the dog’s owner is a friend or a neighbor or both. By filing a case, a victim is not saying the owner is a nasty person. Rather, the attack victim is asserting his or her right to seek justice and sufficient funds to cover medical costs and compensate for pain and future suffering.

(Sources: Weatherford Democrat, Centers for Disease Control, Texas Lawyer, U.S. Postal Service news release)

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