Mattioli & Munley are partners with the Law Firm of Minora, Minora, Colbassani, Krowiak, Mattioli & Munley.

Dog Bites

Each year,



suffer dog bites.



require medical care.

Dogs are naturally unpredictable.

Unfortunately, this is what leads to such high rates of dog bite incidents each year, particularly among children. Dog bites can cause serious harm, and while the dog cannot be taken to court, there are legal options available to victims. Contact Mattioli & Munley today if you or a loved one have experienced a dog attack and wish to seek reparations.

What causes dogs to attack?


Eating or sleeping


Fear or feeling threatened




Protecting owner or property


Trying to establish dominance

Dog Bite News

Dog Bites and the Law

Every year, in the U.S., more than 4.6 million dog bites occur. Dog bites can be traumatic and cause severe long-lasting injuries and fears but there are some safety measures you can employ to keep your family and visitors to your home safe. Kids & Pets: Safety Rules Children are less prone to being bitten if they know how to properly interact around dogs. In fact, American Humane created KIDS: Kids Interacting with Dog Safety – a dog-bite prevention program for kids between 4 to 7 years of age. Children should be supervised around dogs at all times, especially those that are younger than two in age. Children should be taught to never pull on a dog’s ears or tail or to hit, kick bite or slap them. Teach kids not to bother dogs while they are playing with toys or eating. Avoid approaching unfamiliar dogs, even if the dog is contained to a yard or vehicle. Before approaching, always ask the owner’s permission. Rules for Dog Owners Spaying or neutering is a personal choice but it can greatly help to reduce aggression, particularly in male dogs. Female dogs in heat can also be aggressive, as can dogs that are nursing. Take the time to socialize and train your dog so he becomes accustom to interacting with others. Training is as important for the dog owner as the dog. Dog should not be permitted to road freely but rather restrained. Leash laws were created for a reason. Laws & Dog Bites Each state has dog bite laws that vary. Several states hold the owner responsible for an injury, no matter if... read more

Dog Bites Behind One-Third of All Homeowner Claims; Report Says

The number of claims related to dog bites has remained the same, while the amount of money paid out in claims has risen. In fact, last year dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all monies paid out in homeowners’ insurance liability claims, according to a recent article in TIME. Data gathered from Insurance Information Institute (III) indicates that over the past decade, the number of dog bite claims has increased from the low 14,000s to the high 16,000s. In 2012, the number remained at 16,459 down from the 16,695 in 2011. That being said, although dog bites have fluctuated over the years, the value of claims has continued to soar. Dog bite claims, in 2012, accounted for $489.7 million, which is one-third of all homeowners liability claims paid per year. Compared to 2003, when there was few hundred more dog bite claims and yet the payout was only $342.2 million. From 2003 to 2012, the value of dog bite claims increased 51%. With the average dog bite claim increasing from $19,162 to $29,752 last year, an increase of 55%. What Dog Owners Need to Know At all times dog should be supervised and not left alone with young children. Spay/Neutering can help to reduce aggression, particularly in male dogs. Socializing and training will help your dog learn to interact with others – it is as important for the dog as the dog owner. Dogs should not be allowed to roam freely; obey leash laws. Dog Bites & the Law The statues that oversee dog bites vary state to state. In many, the dog owner can be held liable for any injury, regardless... read more

Dog Bites Surged Last Year Across the Country – What You Should Know

According to insurance industry estimates, dog bites cost insurance companies approximately $497 Million in 2011, up $66 Million from the previous year. State Farm, the “good neighbor” of insurance companies, had to foot over 20% of that bill, paying over $109 Million on 3,800 dog bite claims nationwide last year. That was an increase of $19 Million and 300 claims from the previous year. While State Farm is busy trying to understand why the spike in claims from the last year, there are some important tips you can know now to prevent injury from a dog bite: 1. Young children are some of the most vulnerable dog-bite victims. 2. Young children should avoid the following: staring into a dog’s eyes, teasing a dog, approaching a chained dog, and touching an off-leash dog. 3. It’s also a good idea to not run and scream if approached by a dog, as that only increases the likelihood of an aggressive response. 4. Young children should also avoid touching a dog while it is eating or waking up a sleeping dog. Industry experts recommended that children should stand still and be quiet if confronted by a dog. It might also be a good idea to drop whatever you are holding in your hand, because that may be what is attracting the dog to you. Some states, like Michigan, have strict liability on dog bite cases, meaning there are no defenses unless the victim was trespassing or provoked the dog. It doesn’t matter if the dog has never bit anyone before in states with strict liability. The next class of people, aside from children, that are often the victims of dog bites are senior... read more

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