Does a homeowners insurance have a duty for a personal injury resulting from a dog bite if there is a canine exclusion clause?

Asked about 1 year ago - Los Angeles, CA

California law holds dog owners strictly liable for any dog bites/injuries. If there is a personal injury claim against a dog owner whose homeowner insurance has a canine exclusion clause in the homeowners contract, and the tortfeasor has no personal assets, what can the injured plaintiff do? Can the injured plaintiff hold the homeowners insurance liable for the injury?

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Jeffrey Michael Padilla

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    6

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . Make sure that you get a copy of the insurance policy and read it to see exactly what is excluded. Often, the canine exclusion is only for certain breeds of dogs. If the breed at issue isn't mentioned, then coverage would still exist.

    If the dog is excluded from the coverage, then the home owner will not have coverage. You could still pursue the action and ultimately get a judgment against them. Whether they are ever able to pay it is a different matter. If you don't believe that this person will have the means to pay you, then it will be a long drawn out fight for no recovery.

    I hope you find a way to activate the coverage.

    Good Luck.

    This response applies to California Law only and does not create any legal relationship between the attorney and... more
  2. David Ian Schoen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you are the potential plaintiff, you should immediately consult with a local personal injury attorney. If you are the potential defendant and you policy has such an exclusion , consult with a personal injury attorney

  3. Alan James Brinkmeier

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If the insurer specifically excluded the exact type of injury, then no, there will be no duty even to defend the homeowner in suit.

  4. Richard Andrew Harting

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . To get the HO ins on the hook you will need to show they improperly altered your policy and did not provide proper notice, etc... It is unlikely to have punitive damages awarded in a dog bite case, but there isn't enough facts here to address. If there are puni's awarded they will not be discharged through a BK

  5. Ajay Mohan Kwatra

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . If you obtain a judgement, there are ways to collect on it such as wage garnishment.

  6. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A local lawyer would need to review the policy

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

30,332 answers this week

3,211 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

30,332 answers this week

3,211 attorneys answering