DOG BITE HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE LAWSUIT – MN ATTORNEY
It turns out that not only are dogs biting the postal worker — they’re biting a whole lot of other people, too. And, more than ever, their owners are being made to pay for their dogs’ indiscretions.
Dog-bite claims against consumers’ homeowners insurance policies rose by 5.5 percent last year to a record 17,359. Dog bites accounted for more than one-third of homeowner insurance liability claims, accounting for a whopping $483 million in payouts, a study by the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm Insurance found. The average cost per claim was nearly $28,000. California had the most claims, but New York’s cost the most, at more than $43,000 on average, the institute said.
Still, most people don’t even make a claim after a dog bite or try to sue. The Institute, the education arm of the insurance industry, cited statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noting that 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog each year. Of those, 885,000 required medical care after the dog bite or dog attack.
States Have Different Rules Regarding Homeowners Insurance For a Dog Bite
The American Pet Products Association says there are more than 83 million dogs in U.S. households. Depending on what type of dog you have, that chance of biting can cost you or your homeowners insurance even if your pooch has never bitten a soul and never will. Owning pit bulls and other breeds that have been labeled as dangerous or vicious — dogs that have more bite than bark — could prevent homeowners from even getting insurance, the institute said. The group said Pennsylvania and Michigan specifically prevent insurers from denying policies based on dog breed, and Ohio requires owners of certain breeds to have liability insurance.
Depending on where you live, laws about the owner’s liability for a dog bite can very. The institute notes that in some places, any time your dog bites someone without provocation (like in Minnesota) you’re legally responsible. In other locations, liability depends on whether you had a reason to know the dog was likely to bite (due to breed or past behavior) or you were negligent in how you failed to control the dog.
The Institute also noted that increasing loses to dog bite claims means some insurers are making dog owners sign liability waivers — relieving the insurers of responsibility if a dog bites someone.
Interesting article. FYI, Minnesota is one of the states that hold the dog owner responsible if the dog bites or attacks someone without provocation, so having homeowners insurance that covers a dog bite in case you are sued is a good idea.
Pam Rochlin and David Rochlin are personal injury lawyers in MN with 25 years’ experience successfully helping hundreds of people get full and fair compensation from homeowners insurance for their injuries after a dog attack and other accidents. Every year, our best lawyers represent children, workers and others bitten by a dog or attacked and injured by a dog in Minnesota. An experienced dog bite attorney is important to help deal with complicated medical and homeowners insurance issues and to make sure you are fully compensated for the injury by the dog owner’s insurance, including scars and future treatment. When you call our office, a dog bite lawyer will explain the homeowners insurance to you and whether you can sue or make a claim for the dog bite. If you have been bitten by a dog or injured by a dog and would like to speak with a lawyer, you can meet us at our offices in Edina Minnesota, Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, or Woodbury. One of our top dog bite lawyers can also meet you at your home in St. Paul Minnesota, Forest Lake, Roseville MN, Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Lino Lakes, Anoka MN, Maple Grove, Plymouth, Rogers, Chanhassen, Chaska, Apple Valley, Richfield MN, Bloomington Minnesota, Lakeville, Burnsville, and other cities throughout Minnesota. We will provide you with a free consultation, we will answer your questions about a homeowner’s insurance claim or lawsuit for a dog bite, and we never charge anything unless you are compensated for your injury.