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Can homeowner’s insurance help after a dog bite attack?

On Behalf of | May 22, 2024 | Personal Injury |

People can encounter dogs in a variety of different locations. They might cross paths with a dog at a local park or encounter them at a business or the home of a friend. Most of those dogs are likely friendly animals, but some of them may have more aggressive personalities than others.

A dog may bite people with little warning and could cause serious injuries when they become aggressive. Canine attacks can lead to broken bones and severe lacerations that cause permanent scars. Bigger breeds can cause life-threatening injuries if they attack someone’s throat or go after children. Smaller breeds can also cause serious injuries and bites that lead to infections. A dog bite incident could lead to massive medical expenses and possibly also lost income.

A person attacked by a dog that belongs to someone else should not have to accept those losses for an incident that wasn’t their fault. Can homeowner’s insurance help cover the expenses of a dog bite attack?

The animal’s owner could provide coverage

People often feel confused about what types of insurance might be available in an incident involving liability. The victim’s health insurance may not pay for their care costs because there is clear external liability.

A dog bite incident typically requires insurance coverage provided by the animal’s owner. Someone attacked in the front yard or living room of a dog owner and reasonably expect the premises liability coverage offered through homeowner’s or renter’s insurance to apply to the incident. If a dog bite attack occurs at a business that allows animals inside, the company’s insurance policy may apply.

When a dog belonging to an individual attacks someone in a public location like a park, homeowner’s insurance could cover that scenario as well. Typically, the insurance company needs to be aware of the animal for the simplest claims process. Additionally, those seeking compensation through an insurance claim can anticipate potentially aggressive negotiation attempts by insurance adjusters who want to limit the company’s liability.

In some cases, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the animal’s owner to get the insurance company to offer a reasonable settlement. Understanding what sources of compensation are available may benefit those negatively impacted by a dog bite incident.