When a Dog Bite Injury is Caused By Your Neighbor’s Dog
Most non-industrial injuries take place in or near the home, simply because that’s where we spend most of our time. Dog bites are no exception. Three-quarters of all dog bites are inflicted by dogs owned by a neighbor, friend or family member of the dog bite victim.
Because of the close personal relationships that often exist between dog bite victims and the dog’s owner, dog bite victims are often reluctant to pursue legal remedies, fearing that doing so will jeopardize the relationship. Fortunately, this fear is almost always unfounded in dog bite cases because of the availability of insurance coverage that can compensate the dog bite victim without the dog’s owner having to pay anything out-of-pocket.
When dog owner and dog bite victim understand that an insurer, not the owner personally, will be responsible for compensating the dog bite victim, most parties to a dog bite case are able to maintain amicable relationships. Indeed, sometimes in a dog bite case, the plaintiff will be a child dog bite victim bringing suit against the nominal defendants of her parents, the homeowners.
Given the availability of insurance coverage in dog bite cases, it is usually worthwhile for most dog bite victims to investigate cases involving friends or neighbors. There is no obligation for dog bite victims to pursue cases where their friends or neighbors would be personally liable.