When an animal is bitten, who is responsible for covering the costs?
Bringing a legal case against the animal’s owner can be difficult for someone who has been hurt by a dog bite (or any other animal bite), especially if the owner is a neighbor. Legal fees and settlements are often covered by an animal owner’s insurance, so they don’t have to pay anything out of their own pocket. When filing a claim for an animal bite, it’s crucial to know who will foot the bill.
An insurance company may or may not pay a legal claim stemming from an animal bite injury, depending on the circumstances. In addition, you’ll want to check your state’s dog bite regulations for additional information, and get help from attorneys like Hensley Legal Group.
Homeowner’s Insurance and Animal Bites
A dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy will often cover liability for dog bites and other common household pet injuries that occur on the property of the animal owner. In 2012, there were around 16,500 homes insurance claims involving dog bites, with each claim costing an average of $30,000, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Because only dog bites are included in this calculation, the total number of bites from other species, such as cats, horses, and reptiles, is likely to be substantially higher.
Homeowner’s insurance policies often include $100,000 to $300,000 in liability coverage. Because many homeowners’ policies include wording that precludes subsequent claims related to dog bites or other animal-related accidents, insurance companies normally only pay the first occurrence in which an animal causes injury. Some insurance companies will not cover certain kinds of dogs, such as Pit Bulls and Rottweilers, because of their reputations.
Keep in mind that some homeowners’ insurance policies limit coverage for occurrences that take place outside of the home. Some insurance, for example, explicitly exclude injuries caused by automobiles from their coverage. A dog that bites someone while it’s being walked in a park would be covered by insurance, but if the same dog bites someone through the window of a car, it might not be covered by the same insurance policy.
Insurance for a Vehicle
A dog bite in a car may be covered by an owner’s automotive insurance policy, even when a homeowner’s insurance policy does not. Animal bites that occur in a vehicle are frequently covered by both auto and home insurance policies (or possibly on a car, if the animal is in the back of a pickup truck). Insurance companies often blame each other when a loss occurs and neither is willing to pay for it. Most of the time, the insurance companies are the ones that have to settle this dispute, not the harmed party.
Insurance coverage for animals
Pet owners can obtain insurance through specialized firms. Animal bites are often not covered by insurance if they occur more than once, as previously mentioned. A “serial offender” pet’s owner often has little choice but to look for insurance coverage from a business specializing in animal coverage because of this.
In the absence of insurance coverage for animal bites
Animal bite victims can sue the owner of the animal even if the owner does not carry insurance to cover their losses in the event of a bite. Keep in mind, however, that in the event that the person who caused your accident does not cover the costs of your medical care and compensate you for any lost wages as a result of your disability, you will be left to shoulder these expenses on your own.
Do you need assistance with a case involving an animal bite? Consult an Attorney
In the event that you have been bitten by an animal, such as a dog, you may want to look into your legal alternatives. The sooner you get in touch with a local personal injury attorney, the better your chances of recouping your damages.