Dog Bite Injuries and Homeowners Insurance: Understand Your Rights
Dogs are widely known as “man’s best friend,” and they can be extremely loving companions. Unfortunately, if a dog is scared, sick, or feels threatened, they can become vicious, and may attack.
Dog bites can result in serious injuries or disfigurement, and they are likely result in substantial financial losses. Individuals who suffer physical or financial damages stemming from a dog bite should consider their options for financial compensation. The lawyers from Chanfrau & Chanfrau help individuals in the Daytona Beach, FL, and Palm Coast, FL, area understand their rights regarding dog bite injuries and homeowners insurance so that they can be appropriately compensated for their losses.
What Should I Do if I Am Bitten by a Dog?
Getting bit by a dog can be scary and traumatizing. In the moment, it can be difficult to keep a clear head. However, if dog bite victims are able to, there are some steps that they should take to ensure that dog bite injuries are properly documented in the event that a homeowners insurance claim or civil lawsuit needs to be filed. If possible, we recommend taking the following steps after a dog bite:
- Seek medical treatment (even minor bites can lead to infection if not cleaned and treated properly)
- Identify the dog and alert the dog owner
- Report the attack to local law enforcement or animal control agencies
- Take photos of the bite and, if possible, the dog and the scene of the attack
Will a Homeowners Insurance Plan Cover My Losses?
In the eyes of the law, dogs are considered personal property. Dogs may have their own mind, but they are not always completely responsible for their actions. If a dog owner did not take proper precautions to control their dog or protect others from being injured by their dog, they should be held liable for resulting damages. Filing a claim with the dog owner’s homeowners insurance policy is one way to pursue compensation for injury losses. The insurance company will examine the details of the bite and offer a settlement.
What Type of Compensation Am I Due?
As with any other type of personal injury, the compensation a person is due for a dog bite depends on the types of damages they have suffered. Potential areas of compensation include:
- Medical expenses
- Cost of ongoing medical care or rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Do I Need an Attorney if I File an Insurance Claim Instead of a Lawsuit?
Generally dog bite victims have two options in terms of pursuing compensation for dog bite damages: filing a homeowners insurance claim or filing a personal injury lawsuit. Even if people opt to file an insurance claim, it is a good idea to consult a knowledgeable dog bite attorney, such as those at our Daytona Beach area law offices. Insurance companies may offer a settlement that does not adequately account for all injury damages, and an attorney can assess whether a settlement offer is appropriate or not.
What if a Homeowners Insurance Claim Is Denied or a Settlement Offer Is Too Low?
If a homeowners insurance claim is denied, or if injury victims are not satisfied with the amount of money they are being offered, they do not have to accept the decision or settlement. In these situations, people should consult with an attorney and consider filing a civil lawsuit against the dog owner.
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, the lawyers at Chanfrau & Chanfrau can help you consider your options regarding financial compensation for injury damages. To discuss your situation with our legal team, contact our law firm online or call (386) 258-7313 and request a consultation.