Compensation Sources in Dog Bite Injury Cases


Dog bite injury cases are strange cases when compared to most other personal injury lawsuits. When people talk about getting bitten by a neighborhood dog, it rarely ever involves discussing anyone or anything except for the unsettling event that led up to the bite.

Obviously, the dog in question is to blame for the injury, but you can’t sue a dog. In order to determine who is truly to blame for giving the dog the ability to get to the point of biting, a dog bit injury attorney has to find compensation sources that can be held liable for the attack. As any animal attack lawyer can tell you, this is often an underestimated portion of a lawsuit’s case.

Who Is Held Liable?

When most animal attack victims are looking for compensation, their questions don’t go much further than, “How can I find a dog bite attorney near me, and how do we get this suit started?” While it’s a good start, the real question they should first ask is, “Who do I hold liable?”

Truth be told, most dog bite victims don’t know all the different people who could be held liable in an animal attack suit. Moreover, they often don’t know how to approach them, how much money they should ask for, or anything similar to the matters.

Where Does Liability Come Into Play?

In many cases, the compensation a victim should be getting doesn’t come directly from the dog’s owner. Rather, it comes from an insurance policy that is specifically made for animal attacks and injuries.

Most of the time, victims can get compensated through insurance policies or through litigation involving individuals who are in charge of the conditions that allowed the dog attakc to happen. Common sources of compensation include:

  • Renter’s Insurance
  • Homeowner’s Insurance
  • Victim’s Renter’s Insurance Policy
  • Victim’s Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
  • Personal Dog Owner Liability
  • Government Sources
  • Business Owner Liability

How Do You Determine Liability?

The biggest determinant of liability is the location where the dog bite happened, plus the conditions that could have sparked the dog to become vicious. When in court, a typical animal attack lawyer will examine:

  • The dog’s area of living or the location of the attack. If the dog lived in a well-kept area with a high fence, a dog bite defense attorney might be able to argue that it’s not the dog’s fault.
  • The dog’s training and wellbeing. Untrained dogs are generally viewed as dangerous dogs by the court. The same can be said of dogs that are left neglected in a yard.
  • The dog’s history. Does the dog have a history of aggression? If so, courts may take this into consideration.
  • The dog owner’s behavior. Did the dog owner ignore the cries for help when the dog bit someone? If the owner didn’t act up to stop the attack, they may be held liable. If they encouraged the attack, it also could be a criminal matter.
  • People covered by insurance. If the animal attack is covered by an insurance policy, lawyers will be quick to figure out how much of the coverage applies to the incident.
  • The victim’s role in the dog attack. A victim who is found to have provoked a dog probably will be held liable for his own injuries.
  • Terms of insurance coverage. Each insurance policy will have vague terminology. It’s up to a legal team to ensure that the terminology is interpreted correctly.

Every Case Is Different

When it comes to dog bites, there’s never a “one size fits all” solution to the case. Dogs are not as predictable as people, nor are their attacks easy to walk backward from. Because there are so many different factors at play, it’s important to hire a professional who can help you correctly determine the source of compensation for the attack you’ve experienced.

At the law offices of Scott Senft, we have seen many different animal attack cases. We understand the nuances that make the difference between picking the right liable party and picking the wrong one.

Our firm is passionate about helping our clients make the right decisions, and helping them increase their chances of proper compensation. If you are curious about our services, give us a call at (877) 291-4878. We are always here to help!

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