Attacked by a dog 6 months ago. Dog owner did not have homeowners insurance, so my lawyers aren't going through with the case.

Asked over 1 year ago - Rancho Cucamonga, CA

At this point, what would be the best course of action? The dog owner did have prior knowledge of dog's propensity to attack.

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Ricardo Antonio Perez

    Contributor Level 10

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It's unfortunate that the dog owner does not have insurance coverage. Homeowners coverage, renters coverage, specific canine coverage, or an umbrella policy. It's very disappointing and worse, not at all uncommon. We hate having to withdraw from our clients cases but the harsh reality is that if there's no insurance coverage, then we are left to pursue the dog owner directly. And, if they have no assets, making them essentially judgment proof, or if they file bankruptcy, then you and your attorney have thrown good money after bad! This is why your lawyer has withdrawn from your case.

    If you happen to own a dog, you should not put off buying insurance to protect against a liability claim should your dog injure another. The first level of defense, if you are a homeowner or renter, is your homeowners or renters liability insurance coverage. But, don't assume that your animal is automatically covered because some policies exclude animals. If your animal is excluded, obtain a quote from a company that sells canine coverage. If that fails, obtain a quote for an umbrella policy to supplement your liability policy. Owning a dog, although enjoyable, can be expensive. Add to that money damages exposure and you would be hard-pressed to go the cheap route by refusing to buy insurance coverage. The more vicious the dog, the higher your liability exposure, including even potential punitive damages. The good news for dog owners is that buying insurance coverage will provide peace of mind. The bad news for victims of dog bites is that absent insurance coverage, they often find themselves with little to no recourse.

    Ricardo Antonio Perez
    PEREZ LAW CORP, PC.
    822 N. Euclid Avenue
    Ontario, California 91762
    909-983-2235 Telephone
    626-353-9734 Cellular
    www.perezlawcorp.com

  2. Lee Tucker

    Contributor Level 9

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Unfortunately, it is very difficult to recover from someone's personal assets if there is no insurance. You should ask your attorneys if they conducted an asset check. If the dog owner has assets, then you may want to consult with a personal injury attorney who would be willing to take your case and pursue the dog owners personal assets. If there dog owner has no home owners insurance it is likely they don't own their home and likely they have limited liquid assets. So you have some tough hurdles to overcome.

    Mr. Tucker is licensed to practice law in Washington and Kentucky. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Tucker strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received. less

    Mr. Tucker is licensed to practice law in Washington and Kentucky. The response herein is not legal advice and... more
  3. James Michael Bergener

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As my fellow attorneys have commented, the dog owner certainly appears liable, but doesn't have the insurance policy necessary for you to be able to collect. Still, I would recommend suing in small claims court. In California, they limit small claims recovery to $10,000 (there are some exceptions where it can be lower). At least this way, you can potentially receive a judgment against the dog owner and recover for some of your losses. Good luck.

    The information provided here is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on... more
  4. Michael R Crosner

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If your medical expenses are not too large and your injuries not too severe & you can't convince a personal injury attorney to handle your case then consider filing a complaint against the dog owner in small claims court. In California you can request a total of $7,500.00 for all medical expenses; any wage loss; & pain, suffering & residual scarring. However, collecting on a judgement may be difficult. Good luck

    This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney .... more
  5. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Best bet is to call some new lawyers hungry for cases, and I'm sure someone will take it.

  6. William West Seegmiller

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . Small claims court is always an option if there is no homeowners insurance.

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