Understanding the role of insurance in dog bite claims

On Behalf of | Nov 17, 2016 | Animal Bites

Insurance companies are commonly involved in compensating victims for their injuries in a variety of different situations, ranging from car accidents to animal attacks. It is important that victims do not shortchange themselves in situations that can lead to significant medical expenses and may also result in lost wages and emotional harm. In addition, claims for compensation for victims of dog attacks may be paid from multiple sources, depending on the circumstances.

Homeowners insurance commonly covers liability for injuries and other harm caused by dog bites and other household pets. The Insurance Information Institute reports that during 2012, there were approximately 16,500 claims involving dog bites on homeowners’ insurance policies. The typical amount of liability for animal attack coverage on a homeowners’ policy ranges from $100,000 to $300,000 and certain exclusions are possible, depending on the circumstances and policy. In other instances, car insurance or specialized animal insurance may be involved.

Insurance is not a requirement to bring a claim for damages, and victims are often left needing help with costs and expenses associated with the physical, financial and emotional damages suffered in an animal attack. Victims are not commonly involved in the exchange between insurance companies and it is important to keep in mind that insurance companies are involved in most circumstances when a personal injury claim for damages has been brought against the party liable for the harm suffered by the victim. It is important to note that Massachusetts is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites, which means pet owners are strictly liable for the harm their pets cause regardless of the circumstances and with few exceptions.

Victims needing help with the physical, financial and emotional suffering associated with a dog attack, including medical bills and pain and suffering damages, should be familiar with options available to help them, including a personal injury claim for damages. Options are available to help them recover compensation for the common damages associated with a dog bite.

Source: FindLaw, “Animal Bites: Who Pays Damages?,” Accessed Nov. 14, 2016