If you’ve been bitten by a dog — or any other pet, for that matter — you probably feel like you shouldn’t have to cover all of the medical costs yourself. However, you’re also probably wondering who will. There are a few different ways that this may be covered.
1. Specific animal insurance. This isn’t all that common, but some insurance companies will give out coverage for animals. This is especially common with animals who have bitten people in the past.
2. Car insurance. Obviously, for car insurance to cover the bite, the incident has to take place in or on the vehicle. This could be useful, for example, if the dog bite happens in a parking lot.
3. Homeowner’s coverage.
If the person who owns the animal has home insurance, and if the attack happens in the house or on the person’s property, it’s usually going to be covered. This is perhaps the most common source of compensation. For instance, the statistics show that there were 16,500 such claims in 2012 alone.
There are a few things to note, one of which is that the coverage may have an upper limit, such as $100,000. All policies are different. It’s also important to know that dogs that have bitten people before may not be covered, along with specific breeds that are linked to a higher percentage of attacks. This is why animal insurance is sometimes needed.
4. Suing for compensation.
Finally, even if the person doesn’t have any of the above insurance plans, you may be able to sue him or her directly. This way, that person has to pay for your medical bills and other losses, like lost wages. Always be sure you know about every option you have and how best to seek compensation in your specific situation.
Source: FindLaw, “Animal Bites: Who Pays Damages?,” accessed Dec. 09, 2016