Dogs are universally known as man’s best friend. And while most dogs are loving and trustworthy companions, some dogs are dangerously aggressive, especially if they feel threatened.
Each year, there are approximately 4.7 million dog bite incidents in the United States. Unfortunately, dog bites can result in serious injuries, and they often cause lifelong damages. A dog bite lawyer will fight for financial compensation for all losses associated with a dog bite, including those that are physical, emotional, and financial in nature.
What many people don’t know is that dog bite damages can be covered by homeowners insurance. Here, Houston, TX attorney Shane Kadlec discusses homeowners insurance liability in dog bite incidents, and how to help injured individuals receive maximum compensation for their losses.
Owner Liability for Dog Bites
In a strict liability state, a dog owner is automatically considered liable for just about any injury that a dog may cause. However, Texas is not a strict liability state.
Victims suffering from a dog bite injury in the state of Texas must be able to prove that the dog bit someone in the past or previously shown signs of aggression, and that the dog owner was aware of this.
Victims must also be able to show that, knowing the dog’s aggression, the owner did nothing to control the dog or prevent the bite from happening. If these standards of liability are met, the dog owner can be held responsible for damages stemming from dog bite injuries.
Insurance Coverage for Dog Bites
Legally speaking, dogs are considered property, so most homeowners insurance policies do cover dog bite damages . However, every policy has its limit. No matter how severe dog bite damages may be, homeowners insurance will not pay out an amount that exceeds the policy limit.
The average homeowners policy limit is between $100,000 and $300,000. While this does seem like a lot of money, it may not be enough to cover the long-term losses associated with serious dog bites.
Unless a homeowner has an additional umbrella policy, they may be left to cover the cost of any damages that exceed the homeowners policy limit.
Seeking Maximum Compensation
Just like any other business, insurance companies want to make a profit. When a dog bite occurs, the insurance company may push for a quick settlement. It is in the insurance company’s best interest to settle claims before all potential long-term damages of the injury become apparent.
We urge all dog bite victims to work with an experienced dog bite attorney, such as Shane Kadlec, rather than handling things directly with the insurance company. Mr. Kadlec and his team will carefully examine the details of the dog bite injury and consider all sources of loss, including medical expenses, lost wages (or loss of wage-earning potential), and pain and suffering.
If you are suffering from injuries related to a dog bite, you may be due financial compensation for damages. Contact us at your earliest convenience to discuss the details of your case and learn more about your legal options. Call (281) 643-2000 to set up a personal consultation with experienced attorney Shane Kadlec.