Common Insurance Issues In Dog Bite Cases

Dog bites can be devastating, and the resulting medical treatment can be extremely costly. The scarring and damage caused by a dog bite can be very expensive, and victims are often left wondering, “How am I going to pay for this?”

An experienced dog bite lawyer can help you put your life back together. Attorney Chris Davis of the Seattle-based Davis Law Group, P.S., is one of the top dog bite attorneys in Washington State. He’s seen virtually every scenario play out when it comes to these cases and how insurance companies try to protect themselves. 

Below, you’ll find some of the most common insurance issues Mr. Davis and his legal team have encountered over the years.

Dog Owner Doesn’t Have Homeowner’s Insurance

When a dog attacks and bites someone, homeowner’s insurance is the No. 1 source of recovery for dog bite claims. There are two parts to a homeowner’s policy that apply when a dog attacks:

  • Homeowner’s med pay insurance: This is an optional coverage and is a form of “no fault” insurance that kicks in to cover any people injured on the property. 
  • Homeowner’s liability insurance: This type of insurance covers the homeowner if negligence causes injury to others. Homeowner’s liability insurance applies even if the owner’s dog is off the property and bites someone. Some homeowner’s policies exclude damage caused by dogs or other animals.

If a dog’s owner doesn’t have insurance, there is no guaranteed source of recovery. This means a victim may be saddled with thousands of dollars in medical bills, even if they win at trial. Even if the dog’s owner was clearly negligent, most contingency fee lawyers will decline to accept a case unless there is an insurance policy to pay a verdict.

Dog Owner Doesn’t Have Renter’s Insurance

If a dog’s owner doesn’t own the property, they are generally not covered under the property owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy. Renters can get their own renter’s liability insurance – which would typically cover a dog bite attack – but it is relatively rare that renters carry this.

Dog Owner Doesn’t Have Dog Liability Insurance

A dog owner that cannot get homeowner’s insurance to provide liability coverage for their dog can obtain third-party insurance for their dog specifically. In cases where a dog has attacked before, this may be necessary. Unfortunately, these types of policies are rare.

Consult With An Attorney After A Dog Bite

As you can see in the examples above, dog bite cases are often complex and require expert-level knowledge of the law. While you may think you can handle one of these cases on your own, it’s best to first consult with an experienced dog bite lawyer first. 

All types of insurance coverage should be explored during a dog bite case. Don’t leave money on the table. Contact Attorney Chris Davis and the legal team at Davis Law Group today to learn more about your legal rights as a dog bite victim. We offer free case evaluations, and if we accept your case, you don’t pay anything unless we win. Call (206) 727-4000, use the chat feature below or fill out the form on this page to get started.

Chris Davis
Award-winning personal injury attorney and founder of Davis Law Group, P.S. in Seattle, Washington.
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