Adult living with my parents and was bitten by their dog?

by Jane Doe

I'm 31 years old and live with my parents. Their 9-year-old Boxer bit me in the face. He has pancreatitis and doesn't feel good most of the time. I must have startled him by kissing him in his face while sleeping. He bit my face and let go immediately, almost like he was shocked he had bit me.

I had to go to the E.R. and have 15 stitches to my face. My insurance company is now contacting me trying to understand the circumstances surrounding the incident. Will my health insurance cover my hospital visit, or will my parents be responsible for it? Should I file a claim with their homeowner's insurance? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Adult living with my parents and was bitten by their dog?":

Jane Doe (Minnesota):

Unfortunately, homeowners insurance usually does not cover injuries occurring to family members if living in the same household as the insured. Tell your health insurance company the truth. From the facts you present there doesn't seem to be any legitimate reason your injuries should not be covered.

Before settling your injury claim with your insurance company, be sure you have been fully treated. This includes the possibility of cosmetic surgery to correct any scarring which might occur as a result of the dog bite.

In most cases, cosmetic surgery is an elective procedure. Elective procedures are normally not covered under most medical insurance policies. In your case the reason for the procedure may fall under "reconstructive" surgery.

Reconstructive surgery can include skin grafts after a fire, breast surgery after a mastectomy, and other serious medical conditions requiring reconstruction. Reconstructive surgery is often covered by medical insurance plans.

If the purpose of the cosmetic surgery is only to improve one’s appearance, such as liposuction, breast implants, face lifts, etc., it is very likely medical insurance won't cover it. If, on the other hand, the procedure will correct or improve a legitimate medical concern like yours it may be covered in part or in full.

Medical insurance plans vary from state to state and from company to company. Speak with your physician for a referral to a plastic surgeon. You will need your doctors' support to convince your insurance company to cover the plastic surgery.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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