According to a news report in The Real Estate Media, the average claim for dog bites has gone up by 53 percent in the last eight years. The Insurance Information Institute reports that the average dog bite claim was $29,396 in the year 2011, reflecting a considerable increase from the $19,164 average dog bite claim from the year 2004.
Why are the average dog bite claims so expensive? Advanced medical care for dog bite injuries can be extremely costly and many dog bite injuries require surgical procedures to repair the damaged skin. Depending on the severity and location of the injury, it may be necessary to have a skilled plastic surgeon repair the damage. The resulting medical bills can be substantial.
Under New Jersey law, dog owners are liable for injuries caused by their pets. According to New Jersey Statute 4:19-16: “The owner of any dog which shall bite a person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, shall be liable for such damages as may be suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of such dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”