When a dog is affectionate and friendly, it may make people feel happy and playful. When a dog suddenly turns aggressive, it may cause feelings of intense fear or actually injure a human. Dog bite attacks, especially when they involve children, can lead to major injury and also psychological damage.
Between the disfiguring wounds themselves and the possibility of psychological trauma, a dog bite attack could cause tens of thousands of dollars in damages for the victim. If you or your child recently suffered injuries in an attack by an aggressive animal, can you count on homeowner’s insurance to pay your costs?
The animal’s owner could provide coverage
Dog bites and other acts of animal aggression often fall under the umbrella of premises liability. It may be possible for the victims of such attacks to file an insurance claim. If the dog’s owner has a homeowner’s insurance policy or a renter’s insurance policy, their coverage could apply to anyone injured by their animal.
Unfortunately, there are limitations on that coverage. Some insurance companies, for example, do not cover certain breeds with a high association with aggression unless the owner pays extra for their insurance. If the dog’s owner lied about the breed or failed to disclose the animal’s presence to the insurance company, then the victim of the animal attack may not be able to request compensation from the insurance company.
However, if the insurance company was aware of the animal’s presence and its breed, you may be able to make a claim against a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy even if the attack occurred out in public and not at someone’s home.
What if insurance doesn’t apply?
For those bitten by aggressive dogs who later learn that the owner’s insurance won’t cover them, a personal injury claim may be necessary. Whether the attack occurred at a business, at someone’s home or in a park, you may have grounds for a lawsuit against the animal’s owner. So long as the victim of the attack did not break the law or intentionally provoke the animal prior to the incidents, the owner could have liability for all damages inflicted by the animal.
Understanding insurance rules and premises liability claims can help those hurt by dangerous or uncontrolled companion animals.