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Report: California leads the nation in dog-related injuries

Most dog owners know that their pets are not automatically socialized with other dogs and people. Dogs have to be taught how to behave and respect others' space. In fact, not properly training and controlling a dog can have serious consequences like bites and knockdowns.

With that in mind, you might be interested in the findings of a recent insurance industry report. More dog-related injury claims were filed in California than in any other state in 2014, and that same year, dog-related injuries cost insurers a total of about $531 million. 

The cost per claim varied from state to state, but the average cost was more than $32,000. After all, dog bites and knockdown injuries can require extensive medical treatment, including reconstructive surgery and rehabilitation. Dog bite victims may also have to take a leave of absence from work in order to deal with their injuries.

The report points to human shortcomings as a major cause of dog attacks and knockdowns. Seniors, children and bicyclists were also found to be particularly vulnerable to knockdown injuries.

California dog attack law allows for dog bite and knockdown victims to sue dog owners or others who should reasonably have control over pets. You could be on someone else's property or in a public place; dog owners can still be held strictly liable for any damages suffered in an attack or knockdown. The law does not require you to prove negligence on the part of the dog owner in order for you receive compensation for a dog-related injury.

For more on dog bites, knockdowns and premises liability, please see Winer, McKenna & Burritt's dog attack overview.

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