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Silverthorne Attorneys is a personal injury law firm in Orange County whose top priority and singular focus is the people we represent. We work diligently to make sure that our clients are well taken care of and that their needs are not only met, but come first. Injured now? Do not hesitate to reach out to Silverthorne Attorneys for a free consultation.
What Insurance Pays for Dog Bite Injuries?
When someone is suffering from injuries due to a dog bite, it is the responsibility of the dog owner to pay for any damages that the victim sustains. In most cases, the dog owner will not be the one to pay out of pocket. Likely, it will be the responsibility of an insurance company to pay the victim for their injuries. Each case is different, and a claim from a dog bite can be paid by one or more of the following insurance sources:
Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover liability when it comes to dog bites that occur on the homeowner’s property. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there were nearly 16,500 insurance claims involving dog bites in 2012.
The average coverage in a homeowner’s policy is between $100,000 to $300,000. Keep in mind, most insurance companies have a “one-bite rule.” This means that they will only cover the first dog bite and subsequently will not cover any after. Certain insurance companies and policies will refuse to cover specific dog breeds. This is because they are on the “dangerous” or “vicious” list of breeds.
Some policies reduce coverage for incidents that occur away from the property. For example, some policies will exclude injuries connected to vehicles. If someone is walking their dog at the park, and the dog bites someone, the bite is covered by insurance. But if the same dog bites someone through the window of the car, that bite may not have coverage.
If the homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover a bite that occurs in a car, it is possible that the owner’s car insurance policy has coverage. Though it is possible that the homeowner’s insurance company will cover an attack that occurs in a car. Therefore, the insurance companies may argue that the other company is responsible for covering the loss. In most cases, this is something that the insurance companies need to resolve on their own. Not something the victim needs to worry about.
You can also acquire a specialty insurance company that will provide you with the adequate insurance for your pet. Since most insurance companies will refuse to cover animal bites after the first attack. Most people will acquire separate animal insurance for “repeat offenders” of attacks. Breeds that are also on the “dangerous” and “vicious” list are also included in this insurance. Though it can be costly, it is a good idea to have just in case a dog does attack.
What if a Dog Owner Does Not Have Insurance?
Even if the dog’s owner does not have insurance that covers an attack, you are still entitled to file a claim in order to recover any damages. Even if you are reluctant to bring a claim against someone who does not have insurance, remember that you will be getting your medical bills paid for. Keep in mind, if the person responsible for your injuries does not pay for your damages and compensate you for lost income, you will unfortunately bear these losses on your own.
If you are suffering from injuries due to a dog attack, you have rights. Contact Silverthorne Attorneys today to discuss your case. Consultations are free.