When we meet potential personal injury clients in PA and NJ for the first time, understandably, they want to know whether they have a case. In general, we are able to tell them whether they have a case or not. However, whether they may be able to financially recover is another story for certain types of cases, such as a PA and NJ dog bite and attack case.
In PA or NJ personal injury accident cases, such as car accidents, construction accidents or slip and fall accidents, the end result is financial compensation for the injured victims.
The financial compensation usually comes from the responsible party’s insurance company. For instance, a driver in Philadelphia hits a pedestrian lawfully crossing the street. The pedestrian is seriously injured and files a Philadelphia car accident lawsuit against the driver. The liability coverage in the driver’s auto policy is the type of coverage that would cover these types of accidents. Thus, the driver’s auto insurance company would be the source of any financial recovery for the injured pedestrian.
In a Philadelphia trip and fall accident on a sidewalk in front of a store, the responsible party may be the store owner. If the pedestrian sues the store, the store’s commercial insurance policy would be the source of any financial recovery owed to the injured pedestrian.
For PA and NJ dog bite victims, the source of financial recovery is typically the dog owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. However, the source of financial recovery for dog bite victims may be non-existent or limited.
Consider the following: a woman is attacked by a dog owned by a tenant in the lobby of her apartment complex. What if the tenant/dog owner does not have renter’s insurance? In that case, it would be difficult to recover financially from the dog owner. Though the victim may try to sue the dog owner for his personal assets, it is very rare to actually receive financial compensation in the end, if there is no applicable insurance policy.
Even if the dog owner has a homeowner's insurance policy, the amount the victim recovers may not be enough to fully compensate the victim. For a young child who is mauled by a dog and has serious injuries to the face, the child may need significant future medical treatments and surgeries. A limit of $50,000 on the dog owner’s homeowner’s policy would likely not be enough to compensate the victim.
In such cases, we often look to other parties that may also be responsible for the dog attack. Parties such as trainers, breeders, kennels may be responsible. See Liability Beyond The Dog Owner: Other Parties May Be Responsible For Your Injuries From A Dog Bite/Attack (Part A)
If you were attacked by a dog and want to explore your legal rights, call the lawyers at White and Williams to schedule a FREE consultation. 877.944.8396
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