Georgia Ranked No. 10 for Dog Bite Claims

State Farm has released its annual list of states with the largest number of dog bite claims and Georgia has rounded out the top 10 for 2013.

According to the insurer, approximately 106 dog bite claims led to $2.1 million in total payouts in the Peach State.

Additionally, the U.S Postal Service on Wednesday ranked Atlanta the 29th worst city for dog bites with approximately 12 workers being attacked last year.

California was the number one state overall for dog bite claims with more than 440 incidents leading to over $14 million in payouts. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that insurers across the country paid more than $483 million in dog bite claims in 2013.

The dog bite data was released during the kickoff of National Dog Bite Prevention Week. With more than 70 million dogs living in U.S. households, adults and children must be educated on preventing a dog bite. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year.

Here are some handy tips for avoiding a dog bite:

  • Never approach an unfamiliar dog and if possibly call for Animal Care and Control. Although the dog may not attack you, it could be a danger to others in the area.

  • If an unfamiliar dog approaches you avoid making eye contact.

  • Be alert for potentially dangerous situations.

  • Never run or scream from a dog, they naturally love to chase and catch things.

  • Never put your hand through or over a fence to pet a dog, even if it is one you have been friendly with in the past.

  • If an unfamiliar dog approaches you, remain calm and still.

  • Should a dog begin to attack, curl into a ball on the floor and cover your face and ears. Do not scream or roll around.