Visitor Question

How do I find out the negligent homeowner’s policy limits?

Submitted By: Anonymous (California)

I was attacked by a huge Rottweiler while walking down the street in my neighborhood. The dog attacked without any provocation whatsoever. It tried to get my throat and face and I was carrying my big purse and a bag. I was able to rotate my shoulder up somehow to protect my face and twist my body quickly jerking my back.

The dog bit my bicep and placed its full body weight on me and my entire arm. The owner was not paying attention and even though the dog was leashed she did not have control. She was talking to someone and not paying attention, so the dog just broke away.

How can I find out the insurance policy limits on the homeowner’s policy? If they have two properties, can I access both policies, or see if they additional policies of umbrella coverage? Is the insurance company obligated by law to tell policy limits once a claim has been made? Can I be compensated for life-long injuries? Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

You have two options. First, you can ask the dog owner to give you the name and contact information for his homeowner(s) insurance companies, and the limits of the policies. If he agrees, then you can go ahead and proceed with your injury claim.

However, the dog owner may not be so eager to cooperate.

Moreover, the dog owner may have additional assets you may not know about. This is especially important if your injuries are more serious and the homeowners coverage isn’t sufficient to cover your medical bills and resulting costs.

The homeowners insurance company is not required to tell you the limits of the policy.

From the facts you present, your injuries didn’t appear serious enough to require medical attention. If that’s true, you really don’t have a viable personal injury claim.

A bite to your bicep, in and of itself, isn’t sufficient to support an effective personal injury claim. This is especially true if the bite didn’t break the skin.

Other than the bite to your bicep, there doesn’t seem to be any other injuries.

In the event the bite did break the skin and you did require medical attention, then you can attempt to represent yourself, or seek the advice and counsel of a personal injury attorney. It’s entirely up to you.

If you’re satisfied with the cooperation of the homeowner, and your injuries aren’t more serious than a sore or slightly cut bicep, then you can continue the claim on your own. If there is no cooperation from the homeowner, and your injuries are more serious, then your interests will be best served by seeking legal representation.

In California there is no “one-bite” law. This means even if it is the first time a dog bites someone, whether or not the dog owner knew his or her dog was dangerous doesn’t matter. Even a first time bite can make the dog owner liable for injuries the dog inflicted. See California Civil Code Section 3341.

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

Best of luck,

Published: October 3, 2015

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