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Insurance may not cover all dog bite injuries

According to insurance companies, there are 11 breeds of dogs that are considered high risk for dog bites. These same insurance companies paid out approximately $479 million in dog bite claims during 2011 alone - which is $66 million more spent than in 2010.

Unfortunately, the individuals most likely to be bit are between the ages of 5 and 9-years of age. These are individuals least likely to be able to defend themselves from dog bites and dog attacks.

In California, strict liability is imposed on dog owners for dog bites. What this means is that a person can be held liable anytime the dog bites a person lawfully on a property at anytime - even if it's the only time that the dog has ever bitten anyone during its lifetime.

Most homeowner insurance policies will pick up the liability for an individual whose dog bites or attacks another person. These polices will generally range in coverage between the amounts of $100,000 to $300,000. However, there can be cases of such severity in injury that even these policies would not cover the medical expenses and wage losses experienced by the victim. For certain breeds of dogs, insurance companies may not provide any coverage at all.

Though this may only seem to be the concern of individuals that own dogs that bite or attack another person, this could create complications for someone attempting to recover damages. Homeowners may claim not to have the resources to cover all the medical costs, and attorneys for the victims may have to look into all the different ways that their clients can still receive compensation. This can be tricky, and that's why an attorney experienced in trying dog bite cases would be the best individual to turn to for representation.

Source: The Alpenhorn News, "A dog bite claim can cost you," by Rose Wiegand, Feb. 6, 2013

  • Information regarding dog bite injuries can be found at our Long Beach, California lawyers' website.

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