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Avoiding a dog bite claim

New York residents should know that August 2019 has been a bad month for dog bite claims in some states. These claims cost insurance companies millions of dollars every year. In 2018, for example, State Farm paid out $123 million for 3,280 dog bite claims. With some 89.7 million dogs living in the U.S., dog bites are bound to happen.

Fifty percent of victims in these cases are children with those aged 5 to 9 being at the highest risk. Mail carriers and the elderly also run a high risk. Dogs of all breeds and types can bite, though most do not. Nevertheless, it's important to know how to avoid a dog bite incident.

Since children are often bitten in their own homes, parents must make sure never to leave children alone with the dog. The dog should be socialized. For it to be mentally stimulated, owners should walk it frequently and exercise it. Sick dogs being more likely to bite, one should also take their dog regularly to the veterinarian.

Caution everyone, stranger or friend, before that person pets the dog. One should keep a lookout for changes in the dog's body language, especially in the eyes, ears, tail and posture. To reduce aggressive behaviors, spaying and neutering are always a possibility.

If dog owners fail in their responsibilities and cause injuries to a guest in their home, this may form the basis for a premises liability claim. Victims, for their part, must show that there was a clear breach of the duty of care that every property owner has. They must also prove that they themselves were acting in a reasonably safe manner. Filing a claim can be hard, so victims may want a lawyer, especially when it comes to negotiating a fair settlement.

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