A dog bite can lead to a lot of medical issues. The most obvious is the immediate physical trauma, which may require stitches and sometimes reconstructive surgery. Dog bites can sometimes also break bones and frequently cause infections.
In addition to the physical risks associated with dog bite attacks, they also often generate emotional trauma, which can require counseling for someone to overcome. Some people may have trouble returning to work, especially if they have persistent pain or the attack occurred while they worked.
Altogether, you consequences of a dog bite attack could potentially cost tens of thousands of dollars, sometimes more in extreme cases. Who pays for the damage inflicted by an aggressive animal?
The owner’s insurance is the first line of defense
When a dog turns aggressive and hurts a human, New Jersey law largely passes the responsibility to the animal’s owner. People generally have insurance that can apply to such attacks. Most homeowner’s insurance policies will include coverage for animal attacks along with other forms of premises liability coverage, like a renter’s policy.
Of course, to have coverage necessitates that the animal’s owner is honest with the insurance company about the presence of the animal and its breed. If someone does not have insurance or if they lied about having a dog or misrepresented the dog’s breed, then there may not be insurance coverage available for you.
The owner is liable without insurance
In most cases, the person who owns an animal is responsible for whatever injuries it inflicts on other people. Unless there is evidence that someone intentionally provoked the animal, trespassed or attacked the animal’s owner, its violence against people will generally lead to liability for the human responsible for its care.
Without insurance to protect against that liability, the animal’s owner may become directly responsible. Civil lawsuits are often necessary to fully recover the expenses related to a dog bite attack if the animal’s owner does not have adequate insurance. Even those who can make an insurance claim will frequently require help negotiating an appropriate settlement.
Understanding who is financially responsible for the cost created by an aggressive dog’s attack will help you take the right steps to pay your bills after the attack.