Who Pays for Injuries after a Dog Bite?
If you were bit by a dog and need medical attention, you might find yourself wondering who is responsible for paying your medical bills. Dog owners do have a responsibility to prevent their dog from hurting people, therefore they can also be held responsible to reimburse the victim for medical bills, time off work, and pain and suffering. If you were bit by a dog, consider hiring a personal injury lawyer.
The Dog Owner’s Home Insurance
This is the most likely method of getting your medical bills paid. Homeowner’s insurance often has “Med Pay” to help cover injuries caused on the owner’s property and/or by the owner’s dog.
However, if the owner doesn’t have home insurance (maybe they rent), then this option quickly vanishes.
The Dog Owner’s Health Insurance
This is not an option, as health insurance only covers the insured person. The owner’s health insurance won’t extend to the dog bite victim.
The Dog-Bite Victim’s Health Insurance
If you have health insurance, it can help cover your medical bills, especially when used in combination with the dog owner’s home insurance.
What Should I do if a Dog Bites Me?
If you are injured as a dog, follow the steps below:
- Get the Owner’s Contact Information. Also, try to find out if they have homeowner’s/liability insurance.
- Look for Witnesses. Did anyone see what happened? Get their name and contact information as well. This may become important if the dog owner later contests your version of events.
- Seek Immediate Medical Attention. Even if the bit seems pretty superficial, dog bites run the risk of becoming easily infected. Plus, if the vaccination history of the dog is unclear, it might be recommended you receive a rabies vaccination.
- Document Your Injury. Take photos of your injury daily. Keeping a written log or journal of your injury, how it is progressing, and the type of medical treatment you are receiving can be very useful in a dog bite case.
- Report the Incident. Let your local authorities know about the dog bite. This is useful for future potential victims and, if the dog has attacked before, can be useful in your claim against the owner.
- Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer. Insurance companies have teams of experienced adjusters, investigators, and lawyers trying to settle your case for as little money as possible. Even if you make your settlement or lawsuit your full-time job, your knowledge and expertise will not match theirs. Personal injury attorneys, however, dedicate their practice to helping clients like you. Experienced attorneys are well versed in the law, they know the rules, procedures, and weird kinks about the legal system. If you hire legal representation, you are more likely to receive a higher settlement than if you attempt to handle the case on your own.
If you’ve been injured by a dog bite, contact the personal injury lawyers at Kamper & Estrada, PLLC. Our experienced team offers free one-hour consultations to help you determine if you’re eligible to receive compensation for your injury.