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Illinois number 2 in dog bite liability claims

While animals can be an integral part of any family in Illinois, they can be a lethal cause of harm to humans. Studies show that dog bite claims have skyrocketed in the country, reaching epidemic heights. According to one national report, the number of claims has risen as much as 45 percent in the last 10 years.

The Associated Press claims about 4.5 million people suffered dog bites in 2013. Among those victims, postal workers represented more than 5,500 and more than 2 million were children.

The U.S. mail service is launching a movement to promote prevention of dog attacks. According to the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm, insurer premiums in the country totaled over $480 million in the last twelve months. They have published statistics for major cities in the country and where states rank in attacks on mail carriers.

Last year State Farm paid out over $100 million in 3,700 dog bite liability claims. In the last five years, the total in liability claims for their firm involving dog bites was over $500 million.

The top four states were California, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Ohio. California logged almost 14 million in claims related to dog bites. Illinois processed 309 claims in 2013 totaling almost $9 million.

One expert estimated these costs have skyrocketed due to jury awards and fees, settlements and medical bills. These exorbitant amounts are still going up.

Dog trainers agree that, contrary to breed discrimination, all dogs are capable of attacking or biting humans. One expert recommends canine behavior classes and suggests individuals contemplating getting a pet exercise sound judgment and awareness of the accountability involved.

Pet owners have the responsibility to inform themselves of how restricting and monitoring their animals can decrease the likelihood of suffering liability should their dog become violent and attack others.

Animals are only as well-behaved as their owners train them to be. If you have suffered a personal injury resulting from an animal attack, you deserve to learn more about the owner's responsibility in the incident. It is in your best interest to investigate how your rights can be protected under the law by speaking with a person who is well-versed in the legal matters associated with dog bites and animal attacks.

Source: CBS News, "Find out which state has most dog bite claims" No author given, May. 18, 2014

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