Typically, homeowners or renter’s insurance will cover dog bite injury cases in Texas. So, if you or a loved one were injured in a dog bite accident, you will likely file a claim and work towards negotiating a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Dog Bite Claims Against Homeowner’s Liability Insurance
Although homeowner’s insurance policies may vary, most companies have liability limits of $100,000 to $300,000. The insurance covers medical expenses and associated damages. If your claim exceeds this amount, the dog’s owner may have to cover the rest of your damages.
Some insurance companies will not insure homeowners who own certain breeds of dogs they consider dangerous. Other insurance companies consider claims on a case-by-case basis.
Therefore, the value of your case in an insurance settlement is determined in part by the homeowner’s insurance policy and the coverage the provider offers.
Dog Bite Claims Against Renter’s Liability Insurance
Renter’s insurance may also cover injuries you or a loved one sustained from a dog bite. Like homeowner’s insurance, insurers may exclude certain dog breeds from coverage regardless of the circumstances of the accident or who is at fault.
Most renter’s insurance companies provide coverage for dog bites up to $100,000. If a renter has an umbrella policy, however, a provider may increase the coverage. If the renter’s insurance policy does not cover all of your claim, they may be liable for covering the rest of your claim.
Other Type of Insurance That May Cover Dog Bite Injuries
It is not common; however, sometimes other types of insurance companies do insure against dog bites. If homeowner’s or renter’s insurance does not cover your injuries or other damages, investigate these other recovery options:
Auto insurance providers may cover dog bite injuries in certain circumstances.
The at-fault party’s auto insurance company may cover a dog bite injury if the accident occurred inside the vehicle or on the vehicle (truck beds).
Some companies specialize in animal insurance. These companies will cover pet owners who are considered repeat offenders. Meaning, the owner has been involved in multiple instances of dog attacks and no longer receives protection from a homeowner’s insurance provider.
If the landlord was aware of a potentially dangerous dog on their property, yet did nothing to prevent the dog’s presence, they could be partly or wholly liable for the accident.
In some instances, the dog owner may have an individual liability insurance policy that covers your injuries or other damages from the accident.
People Who Are Covered Under Dog Bite Insurance
Insurance policies outline who is covered in a dog bite accident. Insurers may cover your injuries if you fall within the following categories:
- The primary insured
- Relatives who are residents
- Non-relatives who are residents, under 21, or under the care of the homeowner or renter
- Custodians such as a sitter, walker, groomer, or veterinarian
- A guest or visitor welcomed or allowed to be on the property
- Any person not on the property that is attacked by the dog.
Contacting Insurance Companies About Your Injuries
An insurance adjuster may want to contact you after the dog bite accident. You are not required to talk to the insurance company or provide any information until all parties have investigated the accident.
Before you talk to the insurance company, make sure you:
Document Your Medical Expenses
You should have your injuries examined and treated immediately. Make sure you keep all bills and receipts for treatment you receive including prescriptions, physical therapy, follow-up doctor visits, or surgeries. Insurance companies require documentation to validate a claim.
File a Claim After the Accident
If you wait too long to file a claim for a dog bite, it may affect your claim and your case.
The statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim, including dog bite injuries, in Texas is two years under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Title 2 § 16.033.
Avoid Admitting Fault for the Accident
Even if you believe you may be at fault for sustaining a dog bite injury, you should avoid claiming liability. Do not admit fault to the insurance company, the dog owner, property owner, or the other party’s attorney.
Reject an Unfair Settlement Offer
The insurance company’s settlement offer should reflect your case, which includes your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and non-economic damages.
Hire a Dog Bite Attorney in Texas
A Texas dog bite attorney may be able to help you establish liability for the accident, correspond with insurance companies, manage your case, and file a claim or lawsuit on your behalf.
Dog Bite Accident Attorney in Texas
offers legal assistance for victims of dog bite accidents in Texas. A dog bite lawyer may be able to help you file a claim against the dog owner and pursue recovery for your injuries, expenses, and other damages.
To find out how we can help with your dog bite case, call us for a free, no-obligation case review at 713-850-8600.