One of the biggest worries that dog bite victims have is knowing who will pay for their injuries. Under Virginia’s dog bite laws, dog bite owners can face liability if their dog bites someone.
However, obtaining the compensation you deserve if you suffered a dog bite can be more complicated if the dog owner is a family member or friend, and you do not want to jeopardize your relationship with them. Fortunately, most dog bite claims are paid by filing a claim through the dog bite owner’s insurance company. Here are ways you can find out if the owner is insured.
Ways You Can Find Out Whether the Dog Owner Has Insurance
Dog bite injury claims are most commonly paid under a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy of the dog’s owner. If this is not available, there may be other sources of compensation. Depending on how your dog bite occurred, you might be able to file a claim under a landlord, condominium association, or commercial liability insurance policy. If the dog attack occurred during a motor vehicle accident, your injuries may be covered under an auto insurance policy.
How do you learn what insurance policies are available to you? Here are three ways to find out this information.
Ask the Dog Owner
One of the easiest ways to find out if the owner of the dog has insurance is to ask them if they have a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. If they do, you would need to obtain a copy of it and have it reviewed by an experienced premises liability attorney to determine if it covers dog bite injuries.
Send a Demand Letter
If the dog owner refuses to tell you if they are insured or to provide you with a copy of the policy, you will need to hire a lawyer to send them a demand letter. You may also need to do this if you are trying to obtain this information from a landlord, condominium association, or business who may not turn it over unless contacted by an attorney.
File a Lawsuit
If asking the dog owner or sending a letter was unsuccessful, your attorney can file a lawsuit against all potentially liable parties. They will be able to obtain any insurance policies by sending a formal request for the production of these documents in the discovery phase of your case.
Did you suffer injuries from a dog bite in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? Let our knowledgeable premises liability lawyers determine all the negligent parties responsible for compensating you and find out which ones have insurance coverage to pay you. Schedule your free consultation today by calling our Norfolk office or filling out our convenient online form.