Dog attacks don’t happen to everyone. Yet they are not uncommon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 4.5 million people suffer dog bites in the U.S. every year. More than half of those attacks occur in the home where the dog lives and involve victims that are familiar to the animal. The nature of the wounds can range from minor (barely breaking the skin) to extremely serious. At the very least, a serious dog bite can leave scars. If an attack causes disfigurement, a long regimen of medical treatment might be called for. If infection sets in, a victim could die.
In the state of California, the rule of law is one of strict liability. That means that except in limited circumstances, the owner of a dog is likely to be liable for any damage done – even if the owner had no inkling of the animal’s vicious potential.
Obtaining optimal recovery
Marshalling the resources available to cover the full scope of possible damages can be complicated. Those with experience in this area of law know that in most cases, the burden of paying falls on insurance companies rather than directly on the animal’s owner. And, of course, insurance companies do all they can to minimize their risks by including all sorts of limits and exclusions in policies.
That being so there’s a chance that the amount of available coverage won’t be enough. After all, besides medical bills, a victim may be eligible to recover lost wages and seek extra compensation for emotional trauma. It’s important to know, the right to bring a legal claim against the owner remains whether they have insurance or not.
Getting to the root of what options exist and identifying all potential resources available isn’t something most individuals are equipped for. But skilled attorneys are, so contacting one is a wise move.