Dog bites are more common than you think. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the U.S., and more than 800,000 need to get medical attention for those bites.
When people are bitten by dogs owned by family, friends, or even strangers, they’re often hesitant to file claims against the owners for two reasons. First, they don’t want anything to happen to the dogs that bit them. And second, they don’t want the owners to have to pay for their expensive medical bills and lost wages out of pocket.
It’s important to note that there’s no law dictating that dogs must be euthanized or given to an animal shelter or rehomed after a bite, even if it results in a civil lawsuit. And in most dog bite cases, insurance picks up the tab for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. These expenses are rarely paid out of pocket by dog owners.
The most common type of insurance to cover dog bites is homeowners or renters insurance. Because most people who own a home or rent an apartment or home are required to have homeowners or renters insurance, dog bite victims shouldn’t feel bad about filing claims against the owners of the dogs who bit them. If victims don’t file claims, they don’t get compensation—and they’ll be forced to dig into or even use up their own savings for medical treatments.