Indiana is one of the most dog-loving states, with 49.4% of households owning the man’s best friend. But while dogs are generally deemed loyal companions and harmless, we can’t downplay the risks they pose. With more than 4.5 million American suffering dog bites every year and more than 800,000 requiring emergency medical attention, there’s no denying that your furry friends could be a danger to you and others around them.
If a carelessly kept dog bites you, you could face serious medical bills and even lost wages if their injuries require extensive treatment. Thus, it is only fair that you seek compensation from the owner or person who caused the injury. So the big question is, how will renters insurance affect your dog bite claim and value? And how can an experienced personal injury attorney help you recover the compensation you deserve?
What Does Renter’s Insurance Cover?
Renters insurance protects the policyholder against damages sustained during the rental period. These include damage to property owned by the renter (e.g., furniture, appliances, etc.) and cover any liability incurred due to accidents involving third parties.
The coverage provided varies depending on the type of renter’s insurance plan chosen. Some plans may offer additional benefits such as:
- Coverage for loss of use of rented items
- Compensation for repairs or replacement costs
- Liability protection
In addition to these basic features, some policies may provide additional coverage like:
- Medical payments
- Property damage
- Accidental death & dismemberment
Does Renters Insurance Cover Dog Bites?
The short answer is YES. As mentioned above, renters insurance provides liability protection, which means that you will not need to pay for damages caused by someone else’s negligence. This includes dog bites.
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That means if you are a tenant and a dog owner, your renter’s insurance policy protects you from paying for the cost of treating dog bites. The policy also shields you from liability if your dog injures someone while at your rental home.
But wait, there’s a small catch; the renter’s insurance policy does not automatically cover all dog bites, as some breeds are excluded. Notably, most insurers exclude dog breeds traditionally deemed aggressive, overly protective, and oversized. These include but are not limited to:
- Pit bulls
- German Shepherds
- American Bulldogs
So as a tenant and dog owner, it’s overly crucial to go through your policy in detail or consult with an insurance advisor to ensure that your dog’s breed is covered. Nonetheless, if you have sustained severe injuries from a dog bite due to the owner’s negligence, you are entitled to file a claim with the renter’s insurer.
How Can I Recover Compensation For A Dog Bite Injury In Indiana?
While renters insurance covers the dog owner from being held liable for damages caused by their fluffy buddy, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to receive compensation for your injuries. If a dog bit you and it wasn’t your fault (you were not tormenting it or breaking into your neighbor’s home), you should be entitled to file a claim with the renter’s insurance provider.
However, this process takes time and requires professional legal assistance. That’s why it’s crucial to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent your interests. An experienced lawyer has access to resources and tools to help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case.
For instance, a qualified dog bite injury attorney will:
- Investigate the circumstances surrounding your incident.
- Identify potential witnesses, and gather evidence that could prove your claim, including medical records, photographs of the injury, witness statements, and other documents.
- File a claim with the renters’ insurance company so that they can compensate you maximally for your losses.
- Negotiate with the insurance provider to get the highest payout possible.
- If necessary, file a personal injury lawsuit against the dog owner.
- In addition to compensating you for your injuries, a competent lawyer may be able to recover additional damages such as lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.
What to Do if the Dog Owner is Not Covered by Renters Insurance
If the owner of the dog that caused your injuries claims not to possess renter’s insurance, you should contact your personal injury lawyer immediately. It’s possible a tenant may be unaware about their coverage and it will need cleared up by a lawyer.
But if the dog owner indeed does not have coverage, all is not lost, as it may be possible to file a lawsuit on the grounds of gross negligence. The bottom line is, an experienced dog bite injury lawyer will go all the way for you to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.
Boulton Law Group Can Help!
At Boulton Law Group, we are a team of results-driven personal injury lawyers with years of experience helping clients like you recover the money you deserve after a dog attack. We know how important it is to get back on your feet quickly, and we’re here to make sure that happens. We leverage our 25 years of experience and knowledge to provide personalized service. With an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, you can rest assured knowing that you’ll receive trusted representation throughout every step of the process from one of the top law firms in Indiana.
Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.