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What happens to the owner when someone files a dog bite claim?

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2023 | Firm News

After a dog bites a person, there are often questions about what to do next. Especially when the person injured by the animal knows the animal’s owner, they may feel like they cannot pursue legal action. While they may recognize that they could have the right to compensation, they don’t like the idea of taking an acquaintance or possibly a friend to court.

People worry about damaging their relationships with others, and they may try to use their own health insurance to cover their costs. Dog bite claims may seem unnecessary, but they can actually be an important form of protection for those harmed by an aggressive animal. And, typically, insurance carried by the owner of the aggressive dog will cover the costs that result from a dog bite lawsuit rather than the animal’s owner themselves.

Homeowner’s insurance can cover animal attacks

People who own their own homes typically have to carry homeowner’s insurance as a requirement set by their mortgage lenders. Even many tenants in rental properties carry insurance specifically to protect themselves against liability or property loss caused by crime or unusual situations like house fires.

The premises liability coverage provided by homeowner’s insurance and renters insurance is what applies after a dog bite attack. Frequently, the policy of the animal’s owner can pay for medical bills and lost wages, as well as any property damage expenses that resulted from the attack.

Although the victims of dog bite attacks may feel guilty about seeking compensation because they don’t want to cause financial harm to others, it will typically be the insurance company that pays, not the animal’s owner.

Owning an animal comes with some risk

It would be unfair for the victim of an aggressive animal to have to accept financial consequences for something that happened through no fault of their own. Owning an animal does come with some degree of risk, which is one reason why insurance is so important for property owners.

Recognizing that a successful claim after a dog bite attack will not directly diminish someone’s finances but will instead lead to an insurance payout could help people feel less guilty about pursuing appropriate compensation after an animal attack.