When Dogs Bite, Who Pays for the Injuries?

stockfresh_6321710_bright-eyed-unique-looking-dog-canine-looks-at-camera_sizeS-300x200As “man’s best friend,” dogs are known for their friendly, devoted nature and their willingness to protect those they love. At the same time, the gentlest dog can get aggressive under certain circumstances, and can end up biting or attacking strangers, acquaintances or even those they know well.

At Grimes Teich Anderson, LLP, animal attacks are one of the many types of cases we handle. We understand the serious injuries and potential scarring these attacks can cause. In many cases, it is possible to get compensation for your damages through a homeowner’s insurance claim against the dog owner’s policy, avoiding the need for any further legal action.

Dog Bite Injuries

According to the American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP), as many as 4 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the U.S. More than 800,000 dog bite injuries are serious enough as to require medical treatment.

Over half of the dogs involved in these attacks were owned by family members, friends, and neighbors. A significant percent of the victims in these cases are children.

Even if you are familiar with a dog, there are certain situations in which they could attack. Dog bite injuries are more likely to happen if the dog is sick or feels threatened, and a get together with friends or neighbors involving music and lots of noise could be enough of a trigger.

Contrary to popular myths about the cleanliness of a dog’s mouth, the AAFP states that a dog’s saliva is filled with bacteria that could cause serious infection. Depending on the size of the dog and the viciousness of the attack, bites and scratches can also cause torn skin, muscles, or tendons resulting in a loss of use and permanent scarring or disfigurement.

Homeowners Insurance Claims for an Animal Attack

Dog bites can require extensive medical care and treatment, including reconstructive or cosmetic surgery to repair the damage. While you may feel uncomfortable filing a lawsuit against your family, friends, or neighbors for any medical damages or lost wages you suffer from an attack by their dog, these costs are often covered through the dog owner’s insurance policy – not out of the dog owner’s pocket.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), dog bites constitute more than one third of all homeowner’s insurance policy claims, and the average settlement is roughly $34,000. By settling the matter this way, your neighbor or friend may see at most only a slight increase in their policy premiums, while providing you with the compensation you need and deserve for your injuries in from a dog bite.

Our Dog Bite Injury Attorneys Are Here to Help

If you or someone you care about is injured due to a dog bite or animal attack, contact Grimes Teich Anderson LLP. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can help to ensure your rights are protected in these types of case, so that you can get the compensation you need to recover. We serve clients in the Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina areas. Call or contact us online today and request a free case consultation to see how we can assist you.

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