When a dog suddenly becomes aggressive, humans can end up seriously hurt. Dog bite attacks can lead to disfiguring wounds, severe infections and even broken bones. They can also cause psychological trauma that limits someone’s life for many months after the attack.
In addition to medical expenses, there could be lost wages and property damage costs caused when a dog turns aggressive. Whether you got bit by a dog running free at a park or attacked when stopping to visit your neighbor, you may have thousands of dollars in expenses related to an animal turning aggressive.
Can you count on insurance to cover your costs?
The animal’s owner may provide coverage
Often, the consequences of a dog bite attack are eligible for coverage from homeowner’s insurance. If the attack occurs on private property, the homeowner or tenant will often have an insurance policy that protects them from liability. You could potentially turn to their personal health insurance for their immediate care needs, but some of the costs would end up being your responsibility.
Their coverage could reimburse you for property damage losses and expenses related to any injuries the dog caused. Renter’s insurance can also help those injured by an aggressive animal. Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance can even apply if the animal attacked in a public place and not on the owner’s property.
However, not all dog bites are eligible for liability coverage through a renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy. Some people don’t carry insurance, and others don’t tell their insurance company about their dogs. If the insurance company was unaware of the animal’s presence or if the owner lied about its breed because the insurance company restricts what breeds of dogs it will cover, then the person hurt by the animal may not have the option of filing an insurance claim.
You may need to go to civil court
State laws authorize personal injury claims when someone gets hurt because of negligence or illegal activity. If an animal’s owner failed to restrain the animal or properly train it, then the people affected by the animal’s attack could bring a lawsuit against the animal’s owner.
Recognizing that you may have grounds for a civil lawsuit or an insurance claim can help you defray the major costs that come from a dog bite attack.