The owner of dog who bit me has no assets– can I still recover money for my injuries?

The skilled attorneys at Slatter Law Firm will be able to give you an answer, and it might be YES.

Homeowner’s insurance policies typically provide coverage for dog bites their owners’ pets inflict on others. This means even if the owner of a dog  who bites you doesn’t have much money, you might be able to recover money for your injuries from the insurance company instead. This is because the policies often have a section called “personal liability protection”.

“Personal liability protection is a type of insurance coverage that not only protects the owner of the home, but also anyone living with them. This means not just the owners of the house/apartment but also renters, their spouses, roommates, etc. against claims for negligence (which means against dog bites like the one you suffered from). So if anyone living in the home/apartment has a dog and lets that dog off a leash or lets them run outside and that dog bites someone, the insurance company will cover the costs of any injuries received by a person that dog bites.

Obviously insurance companies don’t want to have to pay out more money than they have to, so they have been trying to combat the cost of ever increasing dog bite incidents in California increase in by putting exclusions in their policies that mean they won’t pay money to cover the injuries caused by certain breeds of dogs. For example, some breeds of dogs that are thought to be more dangerous (like pit bulls, or German shepherds) will sometimes be excluded from this homeowner coverage.

Not only that, but sometimes if an owner’s dog has bitten people in the past then insurance companies will sometimes exclude that particular animal from coverage. This appears not as a part of the policy (since it is specific to the owner) but as something called a “policy endorsement” which describes the specific animal and mentions that the personal liability protection mentioned earlier won’t cover any attacks that animal makes against other people.

That means that if a person has a dog that bites you, and that dog has a history of biting people you might be even less likely to recover money for your injuries than if that dog had never bitten anyone in the past! For this reason, it is extremely important that if you are bitten by a dog you speak to a skilled attorney to make sure that the insurance company is held to the standards set forth in the dog owner’s policy and doesn’t get to escape from paying for your injuries because of a legal loophole.

For over 30 years Slatter Law Firm has been helping the victims of animal attacks and other accidents get the compensation they deserve –whether its from insurance companies or from the owners of the animals themselves. We know the steps to take, and will fight to get you or your loved ones the compensation you deserve. If you or someone you know has been injured by a dog or other animal, please call us today for your free consultation at  (310) 444-3010 or toll-free at (888) 293-0404.