Dog bites can cause disfigurement and permanent injuries. A bite can have emotional ramifications for victims who may re-live the attack. Children can be especially susceptible to physical and emotional injuries, including permanent scarring, as a result of a bite incident with a canine. Dog owners can be held responsible for all losses victims experience, with California law imposing strict responsibilities on dog owners.
In most cases, homeowners or renters insurance policies provide coverage after bite incidents. Because of the high risk that certain dogs can present, there are some dog breeds that are beginning to be excluded from insurance policies. Owners of these types of dogs may not be able to get coverage, or the coverage may be limited and not provide payment in the event the owner is sued by bite victims. When insurance does not cover a bite, victims can try to pursue compensation from the personal assets of the dog’s owner.
What Are Some Dog Breeds Excluded from Insurance Policies?
The Los Angeles Times indicates that the list of dog breeds excluded from insurance policies in California varies from carrier to carrier. However, the president of Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Orange County provided a list of some of the breeds likely to be on the “bad dog” list that leads to a denial of coverage.
Breeds on this list include:
- Wolf hybrids
- American Bandogge Mastiffs
- Doberman pinschers
- Olde English Bulldogs (Not English Bulldogs)
- Pit Bulls
Not every insurance company will exclude all dogs on the list, and some insurers include other dogs considered to be high-risk. Insurance companies have faced opposition from consumers on breed bans and the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is opposed to the practice of discrimination against specific breeds. Despite consumer objections, however, insurers may feel they have good reason to refuse coverage when a dog is of a breed likely to be aggressive and likely to cause serious injuries to humans.
Why Are Some Dog Breeds Excluded from Insurance Policies?
California laws are very strict when it comes to dog owner responsibility for bite incidents. Under California Civil Code Section 3342, the law makes clear that: “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”
This establishes a strict liability rule in the state of California, which means there is no need for a bite victim to prove the owner was careless or the owner had any reason to believe a dog was dangerous or aggressive. It is a much more stringent standard than the “one-free-bite” rule in some states which only holds owners liable for losses if there is proof the owner should have known of the animal’s aggression and was careless in protecting victims and preventing bite injuries.
Get Help from a Long Beach Dog Bite Lawyer
Your Injuries are Personal to Me
At the Law Office of Michael D. Waks, I provide representation to bite victims who have been injured by any dog bite incident or animal attack. I will help you to take legal action to recover compensation though negotiating with an insurer who provides coverage or through filing a lawsuit against an owner with a dog that harmed you. Call today to learn how I can help you.
Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation. You are under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover damages for your injuries. I offer bilingual services as part of my comprehensive approach to legal representation and I am available 24/7 to talk to you about your case.