Every year, over 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by a dog, and in 800,000 of these cases, medical attention is needed. If you’ve been bitten by a dog that you don’t own and had to be hospitalized or receive medical care because of it, you’ve likely wondered, “can I bring an insurance claim or sue for a dog bite injury?” And you’re not alone – many others in a similar position have also asked themselves the same question.
As personal injury lawyers, we’ve helped many dog bite victims, and we wanted to share some of the knowledge we have about dog bite laws so you have a better understanding of your legal options.
Can you bring an insurance claim or sue someone if their dog bites you? Read on to find out.
Can You Bring an Insurance Claim or Sue for a Dog Bite Injury?
The answer is almost always yes. Regardless of how serious or minor your injuries might be, the dog’s owner is almost always liable for what happened, absent some few instances. This gives you the right to take legal action and pursue compensation for your injuries. However, there are some exceptions. If you provoked the dog, were trespassing on private property, or knew the dog had aggressive tendencies or had attacked someone else before and unreasonably engaged the animal, the dog’s owner may not be found liable.
Most times, these disputes are settled in negotiations between the lawyers representing the person bitten and the dog owner’s insurance company. Although they rarely go to court, you need a qualified attorney by your side during these negotiations, especially if you are dealing with an insurance company. An attorney can also help you decide if pursuing a claim or filing a lawsuit is better for your situation and is in the best position to assess the reasonable value of your case.
As you can see, the answer to a question like “can you bring an insurance claim or sue for a dog bite injury?” is often a little more complicated than a straight “yes.” If you have questions and need help from a dog bite incident, contact us today so we can learn more about your dog bite injury and give you the legal counsel you need in your case.