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Puppy biting mans jeans on his leg

How Dog Bites Get Expensive

When a dog bites someone, she is entitled to reimbursement for medical expenses as well as lost income if treatment and/or recovery prevents her from working. If the injury is minor, then the medical expenses and the time away from work will likewise be minor.

However, if the bite causes complications from infection, or causes a serious injury, or aggravates a pre-existing condition, then the medical bills will escalate. Medical complications and serious injury usually have a greater impact on the victim’s ability to work, which means that lost income also escalates.

When the impact of a dog bite becomes this serious, the victim will often hire a lawyer. The lawyer will try to get what the victim is legally entitled to. This may include pain and suffering. Pain and suffering are highly subjective and vary among people who suffer from the same type of injury. For example, a child will typically suffer more pain and suffering than an adult male. Often, a monetary value for pain and suffering is computed by multiplying the medical expenses by a factor between two and four.

The liability consequences of a dog bite can be small or quite large. It depends on the bite location and any resulting complications as was previously described. The calf muscle and the Achilles tendon aren’t physically far apart, yet the effects on a person’s mobility can be hugely different depending on which was injured. The same is true of a bite puncture above the eyebrow versus an eye puncture. Lost income also depends on the bite location as well as the person’s occupation. For example, a serious hand injury has a greater impact on a surgeon than a salesperson.

Whether your home insurance covers these damages depends on your dog’s bite history. Many insurance policies have a one-bite rule. That is, they will pay for one bite and either cancel your policy or exclude further coverage of the dog. If your dog belongs to an aggressive breed, you may not even benefit from the one bite rule.

If you’ve collected from your home insurance for a previous bite, or your dog is the “wrong breed,” you may lack animal liability coverage. Review your policy, and if you find coverage gaps, contact us to learn how we can help you.

Rick LindseyAuthored by Rick J. Lindsey, President, Chairman, and CEO of XINSURANCE

Rick J. Lindsey hails from Salt Lake City, Utah. He began working in the mailroom of his father’s Salt Lake City insurance firm, getting his introduction to the business that became his lifelong career. Rick J. Lindsey quickly rose through the ranks while working in nearly every imaginable insurance industry job. As an entrepreneur, specialty lines underwriter, claims specialist, risk manager, and a licensed surplus lines broker, Rick J. Lindsey is highly skilled in all levels of leadership and execution. As he progressed on his career path, Rick J. Lindsey discovered an urgent need for insurers willing to write policies for high-risk individuals and businesses. He was frequently frustrated that he could not provide the liability protection these entities desperately needed to safeguard their assets. He also formed the belief that insurance companies acted too quickly to settle frivolous claims. Rick J. Lindsey decided to try a different approach. He started an insurance company and became the newly formed entity’s CEO. This opportunity has enabled Rick J. Lindsey to fill a void in the market and provide a valuable service to businesses, individuals, and insurance agents who write high-risk business. XINSURANCE also specializes in helping individuals and businesses who live a lifestyle or participate in activities that make them difficult for traditional carriers to insure. If you’ve been denied, non-renewed, or canceled coverage, don’t give up quite yet. Chances are XINSURANCE can help.