San Francisco and Oakland dog owners love their pets and it’s unfortunate that sometimes through negligent care and supervision, dog bites occur. Dog bite victims can suffer serious and long-term injuries from just a single bite, which raises the question, “Can I receive medical payments after a dog attack?”
Victims may wonder if a dog owner is responsible, and if so will the dog owner’s insurance policy provide adequate support.
Dog Bite Liability in the Bay Area
California supports dog bite victims and gives them the legal means to hold dog owners fully responsible. California is a “strict liability” dog bite state. This means that dogs don’t have to have a previous bite incident on their record in order for dog owners to be liable.
In some states, dog owners aren’t responsible for bite injuries if their dogs have never shown aggression before. This isn’t the case in California.
An insurance claim or a lawsuit can be filed against the dog owner immediately. California dog owners are fully liable as long as the victim didn’t provoke the dog attack or was trespassing when bitten.
These are just some of the damages San Francisco Dog Bite victims can seek:
- The cost of all medical expenses presently and the medical treatment expected to be needed in the future.
- The wages lost while the injured bite victim misses work. This can also include long-term support when victims must leave their jobs permanently because injuries leave them unable to perform their duties.
- Compensation for physical and emotional pain. The intense pain experienced. The emotional trauma occurring during the incident and in recovery.
Dog owners are responsible for all of these hardships and more. It’s important to remember that any damage not listed in an insurance claim won’t earn compensation. A highly-regarded San Francisco Dog Bite Lawyer offers a free consultation to all victims. This is a good time to go over what the victim’s injuries are worth and what hardships earn compensation and should be included in a claim.
Med Pay from Homeowners Insurance After a Bay Area Dog Bite
When holding a dog owner responsible for a bite injury, you are often filing a claim against the person’s homeowners or renters insurance. Often, part of this insurance is “med pay” or medical payment coverage.
Med pay is a portion of the coverage that covers injuries occurring in the policyholder’s home or on the policyholder’s property. This coverage is provided regardless of who was at fault for the accident and injury.
The thing to keep in mind about medical payments after a dog attack is that it usually only covers minor incidents. A few thousand dollars is generally the limit of med pay coverage.
It’s also important to note that many insurance companies don’t cover their policyholders for injuries caused by certain breeds of dogs. These are breeds deemed dangerous by the insurance companies. You would have to secure injury support from the owner through other means.
The owner’s contribution to recovery may have to come from personal savings and the sale of a property. Victims may also have to rely on their own health insurance to pay medical bills. The health insurance provider receives payment when settlement occurs and victims receive reimbursement.
When Med Pay Isn’t Enough for Victims of San Francisco Dog Bites
If your dog bite recovery requires more expensive treatment, file additional claims against the insurance policy. Some home insurance policies offer up to 100,000 or more in dog bite injury compensation.
Unfortunately, when asking for help beyond med pay, you’ll have to prove the dog owner’s fault in the accident to convince insurance adjusters to provide you with support.
What’s more, the homeowner’s insurance provider will be working to limit the compensation you receive. They’ll try to get you to accept some blame for the incident. They might even claim your injury isn’t all that serious. This is when it’s important to have legal representation you can trust.
Your San Francisco Dog Bite attorneys will know when a settlement offer falls far short of what you and your family will need. A skilled lawyer will have built a strong case for you, backed by evidence and testimony. This hard work will make it hard for insurance providers to do anything other than provide you with full compensation.
Contact a Skilled Dog Bite Lawyer Serving San Francisco Victims
Contact the Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan for a free personal case evaluation and talk to a real Bay Area legal professional. We want to hear about what happened to you and help you secure the financial support you’ll need to heal and rebuild your life.
As one of the top dog bite law firms in the Bay Area, we build strong cases for our clients and make sure dog owners are fully accountable for their negligence.