Animal Attack and Dog Bite Claim Resources
Considering how many Americans own pets, dog bites and pet animal attacks are relatively uncommon. But even the best-trained dog can bite and injure a family member, neighbor, or unsuspecting bystander. While the pet owner is technically liable for the actions of his or her animal, some states have a "one bite" policy that opens them up to a lawsuit upon repeated incidents. In most cases, a pet owner's homeowner's (or renter's) insurance policy will cover animal bite liability.
If your dog is known to have "vicious propensities," you may be required by law to take extra precautions. But the best policy is prevention, as with any injury. The following resources cover prevention as well as treatment options for dog bites and insurance options.
See FindLaw's Dog Bites and Animal Attacks section for more information.
- American Academy of Family Physicians: Prevention and Treatment of Dog Bites - Advice on what you should do if you are bitten by an animal, from initial wound management and antibiotic treatment to assessing the risk of rabies, with an emphasis on prevention.
- American Veterinary Medical Association: Public Health Information for Dog Bite Prevention - Statistics and comprehensive resources to help prevent dog bites and what to do in case of a dog bite, including links to videos and additional resources.
- Animal Bite Wounds: Is Your Child Safe? - From Wounds1.com, tips for dealing with animal bites to children, with links to related health topics.
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Dog Bites - Information and statistics on dog bite injuries and fatalities in the United States; with tips on how to prevent animal bites and how to properly raise a dog to be gentle.
- Humane Society of the U.S.: How to Avoid a Dog Bite - Tips on avoiding dog bites and preventing your dog from biting others, with information about how to read a dog's body language.
- Insurance Information Institute - Overview of statistics and legal issues surrounding dog bites, including the estimated cost of dog bite claims and the three kinds of law that impose liability on dog owners.
- Where to Get Dog Owner Liability Insurance - From the Dog Bite Law legal blog, an overview of dog owner liability insurance for those whose general homeowners policies don't cover dog bites, and where to access it.
- Pet Partners: Insurance Coverage - Information about the inherent risks involved in volunteering your pet for therapy, and how to make sure you're covered.
- Humane Society: Dangerous Exotic Pets - General information about exotic animals that are sometimes kept as pets, with summaries of state laws.
- Breed-Specific Dog Laws, State-by-State - Click on your state to learn more about which dog breeds (if any) are prohibited, such as pit bulls and rottweilers.
- ASPCA: Breed-Specific Legislation - Summary of the ASPCA's opposition to breed-specific dog bans, with statistics and alternatives to these laws.
- Map of Dog Bite Laws - Presented by the Animal Legal and Historical Center, this interactive map provides links to state laws regarding dog bite liability.
If you have more questions about animal attacks and dog bites, or need legal assistance with a claim, consider meeting with a personal injury lawyer in your neighborhood.