Visitor Question

Dog tripped a neighbor and he called it a “dog attack”?

Submitted By: Ron (San Diego, CA)

Back last August 2016, a friend of mine was dog sitting my 11 month old English bulldog. During a routine morning walk, he saw a neighbor and excitedly jolted towards his direction, causing the man to as she says trip and fall over. The fall caused a black eye and pain in his wrists.

She being an RN checked on the man and my excited pup jumped on top of the man. He called it a “dog attack.” He gathered her information and my information. My homeowners insurance got involved and they ended up paying half of his medical bills. Fast forward to today May 2017. I get a call from his lawyer telling me to call him back. I left a message and am awaiting a call back.

I was wondering if you think the man is trying to sue me or his lawyer is involved because he wants all of the money from my insurance company? My insurance covers $100,000 of injury. If he is trying to get more money from my insurance company, how likely will they pay for it given that they had already made a decision to only pay half of his medical bills? 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 Ron,

It’s curious why your homeowners insurance didn’t cover all of the injured man’s medical bills. If the medical bills were legitimate, your insurance company should have paid them.

Homeowners liability insurance is a type of insurance which protects, or “indemnifies”  homeowners against loss, damage, or liability to their homes arising out of an accident or other occurrence. Homeowner liability insurance is composed of two basic types of coverage:

  • First Party Coverage. First party coverage protects homeowners  against personal loss or damage. This includes indemnification for damage to the home and its contents.
  • Third Party Coverage. Third party coverage protects homeowners against bodily injury and property damage sustained by third parties (guests, neighbors, delivery people, mail carriers, and the like)

A call from the injured man’s attorney likely means the attorney, on behalf of his or her client, is seeking compensation over and above the amount of compensation already paid by your homeowner’s insurance company.

Before speaking with the attorney, call your insurance company. Find out what amount they already paid to the injured person, and why they didn’t pay more. Tell your insurance company you received a telephone call from the injured person’s attorney.

Your homeowner’s insurance company is contractually bound to provide legal counsel to defend you in the event you are sued by an injured person, and the injuries were covered under your homeowners policy. Your insurance company will defend you up to the limits of your policy.

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 19, 2017

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