Who pays compensation to dog attack victims?

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2023 | Dog Attacks |

North Carolina residents who are bitten by dogs are often reluctant to seek compensation, and this is especially true if the dog involved is owned by a relative, friend or neighbor. However, their concerns are usually unfounded because dog bite claims are most often paid by insurance companies and not dog owners, and they rarely lead to a pet being put to sleep. In most cases, a dog bite victim is compensated by insurance companies that provide homeowners coverage.

Homeowners insurance dog bite coverage

According to figures from the Insurance Information Institute, dog bite victims are paid an average of $30,000 when homeowners file insurance claims after a dog attack. Most homeowners policies include at least $100,000 in liability coverage, so there is usually more than enough money available to pay medical bills and compensate dog bite victims for their lost income. However, some insurance providers refuse to cover breeds that have a reputation for ferocity or will only pay the first claim made in connection with a particular dog.

The North Carolina dog bite law

If you are bitten by a dog owned by an individual who does not have insurance or has a policy that will not pay your claim, you could seek compensation by filing a lawsuit. North Carolina, like many states, follows the one-bite doctrine, which means dog owners are not usually held liable the first time their pets bite somebody. North Carolina applies the strict liability standard for dangerous dogs, however. This means that the burden of proof will be on the owner if you file a lawsuit after being bitten by a dangerous dog.

Serious injuries

Dog bites can cause serious and painful injuries, but many victims choose not seek compensation because they worry about what could happen to the dog. Most dog bite compensation is paid by insurance companies that pay an average of $30,000 to settle these claims, and the dogs involved are rarely euthanized.