I Was Bit By A Dog and the Owner Has No Insurance!

dog bite no insuranceWhat if someone does not have homeowner’s insurance and I was bitten by their dog? Can I still get compensation?  

Dog Bite Laws

  The laws in the US regarding dog bite liabilities vary. There are states that make the owner absolutely liable for whatever damages their dog might inflict on other people. There are states that follow the “one bite rule”, which means the owner has knowledge that his or her dog is temperamental, and will bite or attack people even when unprovoked. There are states that require owners to get homeowner insurance so in case their dog bites or attacks a person, no matter how hard they insist that it was provoked, they have to answer for the medical expenses of the victim.   Regardless, dog bites are a traumatic and expensive experience. That’s why if you become a victim of an attack from a dog you need to hope for insurance but prepare for an irresponsible owner with no coverage.  

Homeowner’s Insurance DOES NOT Guarantee Compensation

  Don’t get too depressed if the homeowner has no insurance policy that would compensate for your damages. Even if he or she has a policy it does not guarantee that the insurance company will really accommodate your request for compensation. It’s not that they’re snubbing you or ripping you off. The laws dictate variation of incidences. Insurance companies have the prerogative to deny or approve your request based on the validity of your claims.  If the attack can be described under the clause of incidents that do not warrant compensation according to the insurance company’s eyes, then you will not be compensated in any way whatsoever. Examples of these instances pertain to the following:   1. Unless you were attacked in Michigan or Pennsylvania, if you’ve been bitten or attacked by specific dog breeds such as pit bull, Doberman, chow, or rottweiler, some insurance companies would turn you down. 2. If you were attacked while you and the owner were conducting business. 3. If you were attacked on the owner’s property, but a property that he or she does not live on.  

What You Can Do

  Your chances of getting compensation from the damages you acquired because of the dog attack become slimmer if the owner has no homeowner’s insurance. On the other hand, homeowner’s insurance doesn’t guarantee compensation.  So what can you do?   You can sue of course. But it will take so much time and money that the entire process can become more traumatizing than the dog bite itself. You have to weigh the importance and possible benefit from pursuing the matter legally. Consider the following:   1. When the damage was too severe it caused permanent disability to the victim. 2. When the damage claimed a life. 3. When the insurance company did not respond to claims request in good faith.   These instances warrant a visit to the court and may be best if not settled outside court despite the lengthy process.

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