Dog Bite Injuries and Fatalities
in the United States

Cost of Dog Bites


Dog Bite Injuries

Dog Bite Fatalities

Risk Factors:
Breed, Victim & Place

Cost of Dog Bites

Factors that Impede Progress

Event Analysis

Prevention Strategies


In 2003, the Insurance Information Institute reported that dog bites accounted for a quarter of all homeowner's liability claims, totaling $321.6 million, down slightly from $345.5 million in the previous year. In 2002, the average dog bite claim cost insurers $16,600.16 Quinlan and Sacks estimated the annual cost of direct medical care for dog bites by examining Health Care Utilization Project data and determined that hospital charges, physician fees and post discharge care totaled $164.9 million annually.17

State Farm Insurance reported paying out $70 million on 11,000 disability claims in 1995, and estimated the national financial costs of lost wages and disability due to dog bite injuries to be $1 billion per year.18,19 These preceding figures are only estimates. Probable underreporting of cases, the lack of a national surveillance system and the private nature of health care and homeowner insurance plans, complicates the calculation of the economic impact of dog bites.

Click below for the full text of the letter by Quinlan & Sacks that estimates the direct medical costs of dog bites.
Source: Quinlan KP, Sacks JJ. Hospitalizations for dog bites (letter). JAMA: 281: 232-233.