Current trends in the filing of homeowners insurance claims indicate that dog bite incidents are increasingly accounting for a greater portion of those claims filed and paid out. In 2013, a total of one-third of all homeowners insurance claims entailed dog bite incidents. State Farm, one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S., reported this information. Research statistics also indicate that there has been a 5.5 percent increase in the total number of dog bite claims filed in the U.S. in 2013.
Dog Bite Victims Are Suffering from Numerous Injuries
Homeowners insurance statistics also show that individuals may file dog bite claims in association with a variety of injuries. Individuals do not always have to suffer from a dog bite in order to file a claim under a homeowners insurance policy. They may suffer from scratches, broken limbs, lacerations and injuries that require corrective surgery. These injuries are often costly and require that an individual receive compensation from his or her insurance company.
Dog Bite Claims Cost Millions of Dollars
In 2012, State Farm paid over $489 million in dog bite insurance claims. Dog bite injuries can cause an individual to suffer extensive medical expenses. An individual may require a costly surgery to improve his or her appearance after a dog bite. An operation may also be required to prevent a serious infection in the body. Dog bite injuries can be life-threatening if the dog had rabies at the time of the incident. Rabies is a viral illness that can quickly spread through a person’s body and can be fatal. If a dog bite victim fails to quickly clean a wound or receive medical treatment after a bite, he or she may require a corrective surgery.
Coverage Under a Homeowners Insurance Policy
A homeowners insurance policy provides coverage in the event that a homeowner’s negligence causes injuries to another individual. If an individual is injured by a fallen tree or other landscaping of an owner’s home, then a policy may provide coverage. Homeowners insurance policies can also provide coverage for homeowners who fail to closely supervise their pets or decide to keep dangerous animals on the property. A homeowner has a duty to build fencing to keep a dangerous dog away from the public. If a dangerous dog breaks through fencing in disrepair and bites a passer-by, then the homeowner may be liable under the principles of negligence.
If you have been injured by the dog of another person, you may be able to file a claim against the homeowner’s insurance policy. You should take time to assess whether a homeowner has an insurance policy of this type. A dog bite lawyer can provide you with assistance in obtaining the insurance information of a dog owner.
Settling Your Dog Bite Claim with an Insurance Company
A dog bite lawyer can also be critical in assisting you with the process of settling a claim arising from an incident with a vicious dog. Whether you have been severely scratched or attacked by a dangerous dog, you may have a legal right to compensation. You should be aware that homeowners insurance companies frequently employ aggressive attorneys, and these attorneys can be difficult to deal with in pursuing a claim. An experienced dog bite lawyer is ready to deal with these types of lawyers and may be able to settle your claim. The settlement process may take months to resolve, while the litigation process may take years to complete.
Some homeowners insurance policies have exclusions that may make it more difficult for a victim to claim compensation. If a dog has a history of biting, then a claim may be barred under a self-imposed “one-bite rule” in the insurance policy. It will be up to the victim to assert a negligence claim directly against the dog owner.
Call Illinois Dog Bite Lawyer for Additional Information
If you have been injured by a vicious dog, make sure that you take the time to understand your legal options. An Illinois dog bite lawyer can speak with you about your legal rights and advocate for your best interests in dealing with insurance companies.