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Illinois Ranks Second In Country For Dog Bite Insurance Claims

The Chicago Tribune had a new and shocking dog bite statistic for us this week: Illinois has the second-highest number of dog bites in the country and the highest dog bite payouts of all 50 states. The numbers were compiled by insurance company State Farm.

The only state with more dog bites and a higher total payout was California, the nation’s most populated state. Illinois is the fifth most populated state in the nation. Other states that tallied more dog bites than their population warranted included Indiana and Michigan.

All in all Illinois, State Farm handled 317 claims in Illinois in 2010, and paid out $9.7 million in dog bite and dog attack claims. The average amount per dog bite claim was just over $30,000.

Here are a few more interesting dog bite statistics released by State Farm and the Insurance Information Institute:

•    Two people were fatally attacked by dogs in Illinois last year, and 33 people were killed by dogs in the United States in 2010.
•    Insurers spend about $400 million in dog bite claims each year in America.
•    The state with the highest dog bite claim payout was Florida, which averages over $38,000 a claim.
•    Other states with high rates of dog bite claims included Minnesota, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.
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Dog Bite Checklist

What to Do if You're Attacked

  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • Take photographs of the wounds
  • Call 911 or animal control to report the incident
  • Take photographs of the dog (if it's safe to do so)
  • Gather information about the dog owner (name, address, phone number, insurance info)
  • Contact an experienced dog bite attorney