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Uninsured Owners

No Dog Owner Insurance in the Context of Dog Bite Lawsuits

You are eligible to file a dog bite lawsuit even in the case that the dog owner lacks insurance. However, it is important to note that, in this case it is probable you will struggle to recover adequate financial compensation for your damages, even if the dog owner is found liable for your injuries. This is especially the case if you have suffered extensive dog bite injuries from the attack; your chances of recovering full compensation for your damages are minimual. Even if a dog owner is proved to be at fault for your dog bite injuries, your recovery options may be minimal without insurance.

In the case that a dog owner lacks insurance, it is critical to seek an additional party to hold liable for your incurred injuries. If another individual acted negligently and case your dog bite injury, you may potential recover compensation for your damages from that individual.

It is common for dog owners to lack insurance coverage

Unfortunately, for the most part, dog owners do not possess liability insurance, also sometimes referred to as third-party insurance, for their dogs or pets.

Pet or dog liability policies are widely available thought homeowners insurance packages, but this policy does not come as a preset offering. Dog owners often need to opt in to be eligible for this type of liability insurance. Dog owners may hesitate to opt in because doing so drives insurance premiums higher than average; this is especially common in the case of dog owners who possess dangerous breeds known for aggressive behavioral tendencies such as Rottweilers and pit bulls. The additional costs of the insurance premiums can prevent dog owners from purchasing liability policies for their pets – even if their dogs are known to be aggressive breeds.

Renters who own dogs are even less predisposed to possess liability insurance for their dogs, which would be needed to cover dog bites. Renters, unlike homeowners, are not required to carry an insurance policy for their place of residence or living. Those that purchase renters’ insurance may hesitate to purchase pet liability insurance because of the high costs of premiums.

Sometimes insured dog owners may have coverage with low limit thresholds

In the case that a dog owner has homeowners or renters insurance that meets the qualifying conditions for dog bite coverage, the policy may be subject to a low limit threshold.

Typically, most renters and homeowners insurance plans provide roughly $100,000 in liability coverage. In 2018, the average cost of a dog bite claim approached $40,000. Dog bites range in severity, and attacks that are more serious can result in progressive damages. Some dog bite victims have suffered damages in excess of $100,000, given the extensive nature of their injuries. These victims are eligible to hold the dog owner personally liable for costs not originally covered by the insurance policy.

When dog owners are held personally liable, recovery of sufficient compensation is rare or unlikely

If there is a lack of insurance coverage to cover the costs associated with a dog bite, or if the insurance policy has already reached its limit, victims are often left with no choice but to hold the owner personally liable for their injuries.

In this case, the dog owner would be required to pay the costs associated with the victim’s dog bite out of their own pocket. Even if dog owners are directly responsible for the injuries caused by the dog bite, oftentimes they will unlikely be able to fully compensate the dog bite victim.

Holding a dog owner personally liable is unlikely is to recover substantial compensation, unless the dog owner is wealthy. Typically, most individuals do not readily have access to millions in their bank, and hold the majority of their equity in their home; the home serves as the most valuable asset.

dog bite lawyer is able to pursue compensation on behalf of the dog bite victim to help the victim recover losses. In addition to insurance coverage, a dog owner’s home equity value can also serve as a source of compensation for a dog bite victim.

The importance of holding other parties liable

In the case that a dog owner is underinsured or altogether uninsured, it becomes essential to search and identify other negligent parties that can be held liable. If another individual was negligent and played a role in causing your dog bite injuries, that individual can also be held liable. If this individual is held liable, they can be compelled to compensate you for your injuries, in addition to compensation received from the dog owner.

If the dog owner is a renter, a landlord can potentially be involved in a dog bite lawsuits. Landlords are eligible to be held liable for dog bites if they demonstrate knowledge of a dog’s dangerous behavioral tendencies, without any recourse or action taken to mitigate the situation. As property owners, landlords must take action to remedy dangerous conditions, including the removal of aggressive dogs with a known history of being violent.

Rules and regulations for residential and commercial landlords may vary according to local and state ordinances. In California, commercial property owners are required to periodically inspect businesses to ensure the prevalence of safe conditions. By contrast, residential landlords are forbidden from intruding on their tenants’ property.

Commercial landlords are eligible to be held liable if it is predictable or conceivable that the dog would bite someone. In the case, the commercial landlord’s knowledge of the dog’s history of aggression or violence is irrelevant. If a commercial landlord should have otherwise been aware of a premises hazard, a landlord can be held liable for failing to remove an aggressive or dangerous dog. This stipulation exists so that landlords cannot exonerate themselves by simply failing to comprehensively inspect their commercial properties.

Residential landlords, conversely, are less likely to be held liable for a dog bite resulting from a pet of their tenants. According to California legislation, residential landlords require actual knowledge of the dog’s aggression and history of dangerous behavior, as well as an opportunity to remove the dog, under the guise of hazardous living conditions.

Landlords are also subject to liability for dog bites resulting in failure to take care of their property. Victims are able to hold landlords liable for a broken fence, that was other used for dog confinement, and that may have gotten out resulting in a dog bite injury to an innocent party. Failure to take care of property repairs, which may result in dog bites, is a form of negligence, which may result in a landlord’s liability for a dog bite.

Additional parties that can be held liable for negligence in failing to prevent a dog bite include the following:

  • The dog bite victim’s employer, through workers’ compensation, if the dog bite occurred while the victim was on the job
  • Store owners that freely allow the dog on their property premises
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