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Does the owner always pay in a dog-bite case?

Worcester residents who have been involved in a dog attack know how emotionally and physical painful such attacks can be. Even though these attacks are traumatic and painful, though, many are still hesitant to pursue legal action out of consideration for the pet owner's financial well-being. This hesitation is often due to a misconception, however -- a lawsuit following a dog bite attack does not always financially cripple the owner.

Whether or not a dog owner will pay out of pocket following a dog attack bite or if another entity will cover the cost depends on the specifics of the situation. For instance, the location in which the attack occurred can alter the outcome. If the attack occurred in an automobile, the bite might be covered by the owner's automobile insurance. Sometimes, too, both the automobile insurance company and the owner's homeowner insurance will cover a dog bite attack.

The owner's homeowner insurance will cover the cost in most instances if the attack occurred on the owner's property. On average, coverage in homeowner's policies ranges from $100,000 to $300,000. However, there are exceptions when it comes to coverage. Some insurance companies will not cover certain dog breeds considered to be more violent in nature, like pit bills. What's more, some insurance companies will refuse to provide coverage after the first incident. There are some other cases where pet owners may have animal insurance, where they may be provided coverage after repeat offenses.

Sometimes, pet owners may not be insured, in which case they will have to compensate the victim for medical expenses and lost income. Victims may still wish to pursue a lawsuit, because if they do not, they will likely have to cover these expenses on their own. Skilled attorneys are available to help ensure that victims do not have to further suffer with the expenses associated with a dog attack.

Source: FindLaw, "Animal Bites: Who Pays Damages?," Accessed on Feb. 16, 2015

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