Are Dog Bite Injuries Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
Although dogs are often friendly, sometimes an encounter with a dog can end in serious bite injuries. Dog bite attorney Lynn C. Harris helps dog bite victims secure the maximum settlement for their injuries and other damages.
When dog bite injuries occur, victims may be stuck with hefty medical bills and psychological trauma. What some injury victims may not know is that they may be able to recover compensation for damages from the dog owner’s homeowners insurance policy. Find out more as we take a look at dog bite injuries and homeowners insurance for the Salt Lake City, UT, and Provo, UT, areas.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Dog Bite Injuries?
In most cases, dog bite injuries are covered by the owner’s homeowners insurance. When homeowners insurance pays for dog bite injuries, the policy’s limits may or may not cover the full extent of damages.
Exceptions for Dog Bite Injuries
Although most dog bite injuries are covered by homeowners insurance, there are several exceptions that can prevent injured parties from recovering damages from an insurance policy.
Some exceptions to be aware of include:
Utah’s Comparative Fault Rule
The state of Utah follows a comparative fault rule. This allows fault to be shared when applicable and can reduce the percentage of compensation injury victims receive based on the degree to which they are responsible for their injuries.
Subsequently, someone with dog bite injuries who bears 50 percent or more responsibility for their injuries may be barred from recovering compensation from the dog owner’s homeowners insurance policy.
With that said, in the state of Utah, liability is immediately assigned to the dog owner.
Some homeowner insurance policies exclude certain dog breeds that have a reputation for being aggressive, such as rottweilers, pit bulls, doberman pinschers, and wolf hybrids.
If the breed is excluded from the dog’s owner’s homeowners insurance, a settlement will not be paid by the homeowners insurance for the bite injuries.
Not the First Bite Injury
In addition to exclusions of certain breeds, some homeowner insurance policies also have exclusions regarding the amount of times it will pay claims for bite injuries.
Often, this means that the first bite incident will be covered but any subsequent dog-related injuries will not be paid for by the policy.
The Bite Injury Occurred Away from the Home
Most homeowners insurance covers dog bites outside of the home. However, some homeowners insurance policies reduce their coverage or won’t pay at all for dog bite incidents that occurred away from the insured property.
This could lead to reduced payment if a bite occurred on a sidewalk or at a park.
The Dog Owner Encouraged the Dog to Bite
Homeowners insurance typically won’t pay for dog bite injuries caused by dogs that were encouraged to bite or attack by their owner.
Discover Your Options for Relief
If you have suffered from dog bite injuries, you may be able to recover compensation from the dog owner’s homeowners insurance policy. To discuss your situation and find out which options are best for you, please call our Salt Lake City office at (801) 375-9801 to schedule a consultation.