Why Do Most Dog Bite Attacks Go Unreported?

by on 26/10/12 at 2:23 pm

The Center for Disease Control has reported that approximately 3.5 million children suffer some kind of dog attack each year. This is a large number and doesn’t even cover statistics for adults who are bitten. What’s more, we cannot be certain of the accuracy of the CDC’s numbers because many people around the country who have been bitten simply do not report attacks to the police or their insurance companies. One might think this unknown demographic doesn’t think dog bites are serious enough to warrant attention, but for some people it could mean the difference between paying a huge medical bill or finding needed compensation.

Why do some people seem reluctant to report a dog attack? Let’s consider a few possibilities that also may prevent somebody from receiving compensation for medical bills incurred in the aftermath.

1) The dog is part of the family. It doesn’t matter what breed of dog lives in your home. So long as you have a dog living in your house, the risk of a bite is always there. Your dog may bark at the mailman or a strange visitor, and it’s possible he/she may react with aggression in response to a gesture or movement. If a dog you have adopted bites you or your child, you may be reluctant to make a claim, thinking your insurance company will deny it since the dog is yours.

2) The dog belongs to a friend or relative. Perhaps you have left your children with somebody you trust, and there’s a dog. Your child is bitten and injured. Naturally, you will seek medical care if needed, but you might fear causing a rift in your relationships if you file a formal report. The bite was an accident, and you don’t want to risk your friend losing his/her friend or have insurance rates raised as a result.

3) You don’t think the injury is that serious. Maybe you’re walking through your neighborhood and a dog nips you. The bite might not look large, and you think all you need is a bandage and you’re fine. It might not occur to you to have a doctor check for infections.

4) You don’t want to make waves. You might think, in retrospect, that you did something to provoke the dog, and the cops will do nothing about it.

Whatever your reason for not reporting a attack, your intentions may be good, but in the long run you may end up creating a bigger problem. For one, you don’t know how a claim on insurance will result unless you go through the process. If you fear repercussions from family and friends, you may want to consult with an attorney who handles personal injury cases. Medical bills can add up, especially if the bite leads to long-term problems. Don’t let what you think is a simple problem grow.

Kathryn Lively

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  • How can someone report a dog? I meant they are one of the cutest, friendly and really helpful creatures in this whole world. Even I will not make report of a dog bite me. I know it will sound weird and funny. But I am a huge dog lover. And how can I make them homeless.

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