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Does Renters Insurance Cover Dog Bites?

March 16, 2021

More than 48 million American households have a pet dog, which makes them the most popular pet in the country. And though they’re famously known as “man’s best friend,” they can also be dangerous. More than 1,000 Americans seek out emergency treatment every day because of dog bite injuries, and annually, more than 14,000 Americans are hospitalized due to dog attacks. Although it’s strange to think about, Americans are more likely to be killed by a pet dog than a bear, alligator, or shark.

If you’ve been bitten by a dog in Alabama or Mississippi, whether by a dog owned by a friend or a total stranger, the injuries you suffered could potentially entitle you to compensation for things like your medical bills, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and future medical care.

First, make sure you seek treatment the bite. Infection is common with bite wounds, so thoroughly wash the wound and treat it with an over-the-counter antibiotic cream. It’s a good idea to have your doctor check the bite, even if the bite seems minor. Tetanus, rabies, or sepsis could all develop well after a dog attack—all of them caused by bacteria introduced into the body at the wound site. And even minor wounds can sometimes lead to nerve damage. Equally important, your medical records provide documentation for your dog bite claim.

After you’ve had your injury tended to, it’s important to do some research to see whether renters or homeowners insurance covers dog bites. Then, reach out to an experienced dog bite attorney so that you can pursue damages and get the compensation that’s rightfully yours.

Does Renters and Homeowners Insurance Cover Dog Bites?

Renters and homeowners insurance protect renters and homeowners from theft, loss, and liability. Typically, renters insurance policies have a liability limit of up to $100,000, while homeowners insurance policies will have a liability limit of up to $300,000.

While the liability coverage in the typical homeowners policy covers dog bites, renters insurance policies may not automatically include dog bites. That might be separate coverage. Additionally, some renters and homeowners insurance may not cover certain breeds of dogs like Doberman pinschers, rottweilers, pit bulls, German shepherds, mastiffs, and boxers.

If you’ve been seriously attacked by a dog and the attack wasn’t your fault (that is, you weren’t breaking into the home or tormenting the dog), then you could file a claim with the homeowner’s or renter’s insurance company. They will just need to make sure they can provide medical records and evidence, like photographs of the injury and witness statements.

Related: What to Do if You’ve Been Bit by a Dog in Mississippi

What to Do if the Dog Owner is Not Covered by Renters Insurance

If you’ve been attacked by a dog and the dog’s owner claims to not have coverage, you should contact a dog bite attorney. It’s possible they may be able to recover damages for you. For example, the dog owner may be lying about not having insurance coverage, and will admit as much once a lawyer contacts them. If worse comes to worst and the owner is truly not covered, a personal injury lawyer could file a lawsuit and attempt to collect the money for you. Either way, an experienced dog bite attorney will do all the work for you, which includes collecting evidence and negotiating with the insurance company, as well as trying to get you a much higher settlement than you could on your own.

What to Do If a Dog Bites You

In Alabama, dog owners are liable for bites and attacks as long as you are lawfully on the owner’s property when the attack occurs. This applies even if you started out on the property and the dog chased you off of it. If the owner shows a lack of knowledge that they didn’t know the dog was aggressive, then damages could only include actual expenses like medical bills and not pain and suffering or other non-economic damages.

After a dog bites you, it’s critical to collect evidence from the scene, including photographs of your injury, witness statements, and video if you have it. Then, you’ll need to ask the owner for their contact and insurance information and go to the hospital right away for treatment. You might want to get X-rays done just to be safe.

Once you’re home from the hospital, you can call up dog bite attorney Andy Citrin for help.

After a dog bites you, it’s critical to collect evidence from the scene, including photographs of your injury, witness statements, and video if you have it. Then, you’ll need to ask the owner for their contact and insurance information and go to the hospital right away for treatment. You might want to get X-rays done just to be safe.

RELATED: Bit by a Dog in Alabama? Take These 5 Steps to Protect Your Claim

Need Help After a Dog Attack? Contact Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys Today

For over 30 years, the Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys team has fought to make sure people like you get a fair chance at a comprehensive settlement.

To learn more about your options, steps to take to protect your case, and how the Andy Citrin team can help, please schedule a free, confidential consultation. Reserve your time today by contacting our team at 251-888-8888 or complete our online form.

References

American Veterinary Medical Association. (2019). U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics. https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/reports-statistics/us-pet-ownership-statistics

DogsBite.org. (n.d.). Dog Bite Statistics. https://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-statistics.php

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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