Dog Bite Claims and Homeowners Insurance
Unless you have experienced a dog bite you are unlikely to realize how serious dog bites can be. In fact they can be so serious you are best to keep well clear of a dog that is not attached to its owner by a leash. A dog bite injury can cost you a large amount of money in terms of medical costs, recuperation and lost earnings. As long as you didn’t provoke the animal you should be eligible to file a personal injury claim against the dog owner, whose homeowners insurance would pay the claim.
Why Dogs Bite
Sometimes when a dog is constantly pestered, especially by children, it can irritate it causing it to lash out in an aggressive manner. This can mean going for the child’s face and tearing off flesh in a relentless manner. Other times, a dog may attack if it is hungry or thirsty or even too hot and it is under stress. Provocation can cause a dog bite too, such as teasing or hurting the animal to such an extent that it lashes out. If someone walks onto another person’s property and there is an unleashed dog present its territorial instincts may cause an unprovoked attack.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Many dog bites aren’t serious at all. The victim may only be nipped at and the dog’s teeth may not even puncture the flesh. However, if a dog mercilessly attacks someone with the intent to attack, bite and even maul the victim a fatality is quite possible. 30 people every year lose their lives as a result of a ferocious dog bite.
If the attack does not kill the victim, serious injuries could still be incurred, such as badly torn skin, crushed bones, severe facial lacerations including to the ears and eyes. Some of these injuries may require reconstructive surgery and permanent scarring may still remain.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has revealed that in 2014 around 28,500 reconstructions were done to help repair skin and other damage from dog bites. This was an increase of 6% since the previous year.
Dog Bite Claims Under Homeowners Insurance
In Missouri, a dog owner could be held accountable for personal injuries suffered by a dog bite victim whether the bite took place on the dog owner’s property, on public property or private property elsewhere. This is as long as the dog bite victim was legally allowed in the place where the incident took place and no provocation brought on the attack. The prevalence of injurious dog attacks annually has meant that according to the Insurance Information Institute injuries from dog bites made up more than a third of the total dollars paid in claims out of homeowners insurance which cost insurers more than $530 million.
If you have been injured by a dog bite and it was not your fault you should contact a personal injury attorney to see if you are eligible to file a personal injury claim through the dog owner’s homeowners insurance to compensate you for the financial hardship caused by the dog bite.