Dog Bites: Who Pays For the Damages?
Dog bites can have serious consequences for the victims and their family members. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 4.5 million Americans suffer dog bites each year, half of these children. Moreover, one in five, or approximately 885,000, dog bites result in serious injuries that require extensive medical attention.
In less serious cases, the victim may not want to bring a legal claim against the dog’s owner. However, in cases where the injuries are severe, the victim may have no choice but to hire an experienced Los Angeles dog bite attorney to seek compensation from the owner. In these instances, the question becomes who pays for the damages?
Dog Bites: The Homeowner’s Insurance Pays!
In most cases, the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance carrier will cover liability resulting from the dog’s attack and bite. According to the Insurance Information Institute, approximately 16,500 dog bite claims were made to homeowners’ insurance policies in 2013.
The average homeowners’ insurance policy covers $100,000 to $300,000 in liability. It should be noted that if the incident occurred away from the homeowner’s property, the insurance policy coverage may be reduced. Furthermore, most insurance companies generally cover only the first dog bite incident and often refuse to cover attacks and bites by certain breeds of dogs, such as Pit Bulls or Rottweilers.
Other Sources to Tap for Dog Bites
If the dog owner does not have homeowner’s insurance or the insurance carves out the bite or attack, your Los Angeles dog bite attorney may seek other avenues for monetary compensation. If the dog bite occurred in a car, the owner’s car insurance policy may cover your damages. Some dog owners also purchase animal insurance that may cover bites and attacks.
If there is no other insurance policy to cover your damages, you are still entitled to bring a legal claim against the dog owner personally. However, before filing a lawsuit, your Los Angeles dog bite lawyer should first check to see if the owner is solvent.
Contact an Experienced Los Angeles Dog Bite Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been bitten or attacked by an animal, please call us 24 days, 7 days a week to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Los Angeles dog bite lawyers. For more information, please call us at 818-745-2974 or visit us at www.sfvlaw.com.