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Injuries / Nov 07,2022

What happens when you get bitten by an animal at a business?

There are a lot of pet parents living in Colorado, and the proliferation of companion animals affects the culture around the state. At least as of 2019, people living in Denver had more pets than children.

Many people with dogs would love to bring their animals to work, and some employers accommodate that. There are offices that have policies that allow dogs to come to work with employees. There are also many buildings and retail shops that have cats or dogs that live there like the resident pets.

There is no guarantee that these animals will be any safer or better-behaved than the average pet on the street. What rights do you have if you go to a business and an animal bites and injures you?

Animal attacks lead to premises liability claims

Most businesses, especially those that are open to the public like retail facilities, carry liability insurance coverage. Specialized premises liability policies are quite common so that if visitors get hurt while at a store or other business, the company won’t have any liability for the injuries or property damage losses that result. If the animal is there as the shop pet or at the behest of the owner, then the business’s insurance policy will likely apply.

When animals attack on residential property, homeowner’s insurance is often available to the victims of such attacks. If the individual owner of the animal is the one with liability in your situation, not the business owner, then their homeowner’s policy may cover your losses after the attack even though it didn’t happen at their home.

It can be hard to pursue a complex liability claim

You might just go to the hospital and use your own health insurance for the treatment you require when a vicious dog attacks you at a business. However, your insurance company will very likely attempt to subrogate your claim and recoup payments made on your behalf by going after the other party with actual liability for the situation.

It often makes much more sense for someone hurt to secure the full cost of their losses, rather than paying a deductible or coinsurance for their treatment. Additionally, premises liability insurance or homeowner’s insurance policies will usually help cover property damage costs and lost wages, not just medical expenses. Recognizing when you may need to pursue a premises liability claim can help protect you from the financial aftermath of a violent animal attack.

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