How Insurance Works for Dog Bite Cases in Las Vegas

Who pays the medical costs if someone suffers a bad bite injury from someone else’s dog? Well, suppose someone else’s dog bites you. In that case, their homeowner’s insurance may pay for your damages, whether or not the incident happened on the dog owner’s property.

Immediately, though, your health insurance will cover medical expenses if you have to go to a doctor or the hospital. Suppose the dog owner’s home insurance does pay you for medical costs, though. In that case, your health insurance provider may seek payment from the dog owner’s insurance. This action is called subrogation.

Subrogation is the legal right most insurance carriers maintain to pursue a third party that caused an insurance loss to the insured. Thus, if your health insurance paid the medical expenses for a dog bite, the health insurance carrier could seek reimbursement from the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance. Your insurance may waive subrogation, though.

If subrogation is waived, you collect the medical payments money from the dog owner’s insurance. Having a personal injury attorney who understands subrogation works to your advantage. Our personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas regularly works with subrogation issues to provide the best outcome for clients.

Will Insurance Cover All Damages from a Dog Bite?

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Medical payments coverage is usually low. So, who will pay for the remainder of your medical costs and other damages if you suffer serious injury? Will you pay for them out-of-pocket, or will insurance pay for them? Also, will it be the dog owner’s insurance or yours? In many cases, speaking to a personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas about your rights and what insurance may be available is good advice.

It is worth noting that an insurer in Nevada cannot refuse homeowner insurance based on the breed of dog the homeowner has. Some factors that determine the success of a dog bite claim include:

  • is known to be dangerous or vicious, or
  • is declared to be dangerous or vicious according to Nevada public health laws.

Insurance companies will investigate the circumstances surrounding a claim in the light most favorable to them. As part of their investigation into a dog bite claim, they will want to know the following:

  • Has the dog ever bitten anyone else?
  • Have there been complaints about the dog?
  • Has the dog ever been considered dangerous or vicious?

Are you now stuck with paying for the consequences of an incident that wasn’t your fault? What can you, the victim, do to recover compensation for medical or other expenses if the responsible party’s insurance refuses the claim?

The best answer is to speak to a lawyer. A personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas with the skill and experience to deal with insurance companies can make all the difference. An attorney can bring a lawsuit and uncover valuable information, like what insurance is available.

If the dog owner has no insurance, your attorney can seek to negotiate settlement arrangements acceptable to both parties. Also, the defendant may come up with others liable for the dog, such as co-owners, employers — people with insurance.

Dog Bites Can Be Severe

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Dog bites can be severe whether you play with a dog or get attacked. The dog’s front teeth grab and compress your skin and muscle. Their smaller teeth can also tear your skin resulting in an open, jagged wound. If infection sets in, your injury can become severe, and you may require hospitalization and even intravenous antibiotics.

Regardless, you should immediately see your primary care provider if you suffer a dog bite because it could result in damages that include the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • And more

A typical homeowner’s policy will provide coverage for liability and medical payments, and liability coverage pays out when someone is injured because of negligence. The Insurance Information Institute reports 17,989 dog bite claims nationwide in 2021, with an average cost per claim of $49,025.

Medical payments coverage will pay for the following:

  • ER visits
  • Hospital visits
  • Surgeries
  • Physical therapy
  • And more

But, as we mentioned, medical payment coverage limits are between $1,000 and $5,000, which may fall woefully short of covering your costs.

Insurance companies don’t automatically pay claims. Although most dog bite incidents get resolved informally, severe injury cases can become contentious and may end up in court. To ensure your success in receiving the compensation, speak with our personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas. Call the number below to request a FREE consultation.

What Can Be Done If the Dog Owner Doesn’t Have Insurance?

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A dog bite incident can be brought in a lawsuit as a personal injury case. To do so, whether there is insurance or not, you must prove negligence on the part of the owner or person responsible, meaning you must be able to show that:

  • The dog owner owed a duty to the injured party.
  • The dog owner breached their duty.
  • The breach caused the injury.
  • The victim suffered damages.

Assume the dog is known to have bitten someone or is considered dangerous or vicious. In that case, the owner is automatically liable for damages. Also, suppose the owner violated a law or ordinance, like not obeying a leash law. In that case, the owner becomes negligent per se, which means negligence doesn’t have to be proven.

Contact the Las Vegas injury attorneys to discuss your dog bite incident.

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