Who is responsible for the medical costs of a dog bite injury?

aggressive dog baring teethIf you were attacked by a dog, there are a few different parties who may be held liable for your medical bills. Most dog bite injury cases involve making a claim against the at-fault party’s liability insurance provider to pay for medical treatment, but these claims can also include additional amounts for lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering.

Whose Insurance Should Cover Treatment for a Dog Bite Injury?

If you have medical insurance, you should use it at the time of your emergency visit and during your follow-up visits. Anything your insurer pays for, as well as any costs you pay out-of-pocket, should be reimbursed by the at-fault owner’s insurance coverage. If you do not have health insurance, your bills may have to go unpaid until you settle your claim through the dog owner’s:

  • Homeowners insurance. According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites account for over a third of all homeowner insurance liability claims and can cost up to $500 million in claims nationwide. If the dog owner has homeowners insurance, your claim will most likely fall under the homeowner's coverage.
  • Med Pay coverage. Many homeowner policies include Med Pay coverage, a separate, no-fault coverage that applies only to a victim’s medical bills. This allows an insurer to agree to cover medical bills for an injury on the property regardless of whether the insurance company accepts liability for the accident.
  • Renters insurance. If the dog’s owner lives in a rental property, you may be able to make a claim under his or her rental insurance policy. However, this is only an option if the policy includes liability insurance. If the policy only covers property damage, you may have to make a claim against the landlord’s commercial or homeowner policy.

If the insurer is reluctant to pay the claim, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit to recover the full costs of the injury. If someone else’s negligence caused your dog bite injuries, our injury lawyers can gather evidence on your behalf and advise you on your next steps—and we do not collect any payment from you until we secure a recovery. Simply fill out the short contact form on this page to set up a free initial consultation.