When a dog attacks a person the situation needs to be handled with care and sensitivity, because there are typically multiple traumatized parties involved. Often times the victim of the dog bite can experience a high amount of costs associated with recovering from the injury, which may end in a dog bite lawsuit.
The trauma associated with a dog bite is bad enough but what happens next? What if you end up filing a do bite lawsuit and they have no insurance?
Dog Bite Lawsuit No Insurance
While it is recommended that every homeowner has insurance, it is recommended more so to people that have a dog on the property. The reason it is recommended is because if the dog happens to bite someone on their property, then insurance can help cover the expenses of the victims rehabilitation. If there ends up being a dog bite lawsuit and the owner has no insurance, it can become extremely expensive.
Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be compensated for your trauma. The laws dictate what can and can’t be done. The insurance company can approve or deny your claim based on how valid they feel your claim is.
If the insurance company feels that the attack doesn’t warrant compensation based under their clauses, they will not pay you for your losses. In some states, insurances will only pay out if you were attacked by a certain breed of dog. It is up to the insurance policy whether or not they will pay for damages.
Things to Consider When Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit
If the Owner Has Insurance
If the owner does have insurance there are some things that you should consider as a victim. After seeking medical attention, the very next thing you should do after suffering a dog bite is talk to a personal injury attorney. Even if you do not have intentions of filing a dog bite lawsuit this will prove to be a good decision.
Often times insurance companies will offer a much smaller amount of money than they should, because they know that most people don’t know the true value of your case. A dog bite lawyer will make sure you get what you deserve and that the insurance company will not take advantage of you.
If the Owner Has No Insurance
If the owner has no insurance then there are things that both parties should strongly consider. First, both parties should seek out the advice of an attorney. By facilitating conversations attorneys can work with their respective clients to negotiate the terms of the victim’s compensation.
Why Working With an Attorney is the Right Thing to Do
Benefits for the Victim
For the victim this will prove to be the best thing to do, because then they can set up a reasonable plan to be compensated for their injury and hopefully avoid having to file a lawsuit. Lawsuits are not cheap and the result is not always ideal for the victim.
Even if the victim ends up winning the case and receiving more money than they would by settling outside of court, it can turn out to be more expensive. A lawsuit can take a long time and while hiring the services of a lawyer is without a doubt the right thing to do, the cost of doing so can add up quickly.
After considering this, the victim should also consider the difficulty of receiving the payout they are granted from winning a dog bite lawsuit. If the owner wasn’t economically thoughtful enough to pay for homeowners insurance, their ability to pay a lawsuit should be put in to question immediately.
If your lawyers are able to work out a settlement the likelihood of both parties walking away satisfied is greatly increased.
Benefits for the Dog Owner
The benefits of working with an attorney is extremely valuable for the dog owner as well. If you can work with your lawyer and the victims lawyer on a settlement you may be able to avoid all the complications that come in to play with a lawsuit.
Generally the only reason that the dog owner would not want to work towards a settlement is because they believe they are not liable for the damages caused. There are cases in which the owner would not be liable for a dog bite, this typically has to provocation or self-defense.
Read our article on dog owner liability to learn more about how owner’s are responsible for the pets in such a situation.
How JacksonWhite Can Help
JacksonWhite has represented dozens of Arizona dog bite victims over the last decade. Our personal injury team specializes in working with dog bite cases and offers a free case evaluation.
Call our Personal Injury team at (480) 467-4392 to discuss your case today.