(WTXL) — Millions of people are bitten or attacked by dogs each year, but in a recent study, Florida was ranked number two in the country in dog bite claims.
According to a new State Farm and Insurance Information Institute report, in 2018 there were 17,297 dog related injury claims in the US with over $674 million paid. Florida was ranked #2 in the country with $56 million paid in 1,281 dog bites claims.
The average paid claim was over $43,800.
California had the most claims with 2,186 claims and over 98.6 million paid, The District of Columbia had the least claims with 28 and $900,000 paid
The top 10 states for dog-related injury claims are: California, Florida, Texas, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
According to the CDC, the highest risk age group for dog bites were children ages 5-9 years. They made up 35 percent of all children seen in hospital emergency rooms for dog injuries.
The elderly and home service people like letter carriers and package deliverers, meter readers, and food delivery services also are high on the list of frequent dog bite victims as well.
When encountering a dog, State Farm recommends that you W.A.I.T.
W - Wait to see if the dog is with his or her owner and looks friendly.
A - Ask the owner for permission to pet their dog. If the owners says, no, STOP and walk away slowly.
I - Invite the dog to sniff you. Use a quiet voice to talk to the dog.
T - Touch the dog gently to pet. Never pet near the face, head, or tail.
They also mentioned to not disturb a dog while they are eating, do not pull a dog's tail, and do not try to outrun a dog.