I think they are. There are several reasons.
One is that the defenses are limited. The insurance company lawyer is not allowed to say that the injuries resulted from the negligence of the injured person, unless that person:
– was committing or attempting to commit criminal trespass or another criminal offense on the property of the dog’s owner, keeper, or harborer,
– was committing or attempting to commit a criminal offense (other than a minor misdemeanor) against any person
– or was teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog on the owner’s, keeper’s, or harborer’s property.
– was himself the owner, harborer or keeper of the dog.
In other words, the insurance company can’t say it was your fault because you got too close to the dog, or weren’t paying enough attention to the dog, or were carrying a backpack with a ham sandwich in it.
Second is that dogbites frequently result in scars. Scars are often permanent. The insurance company knows that if there is a scar, the jury will be asked to award damages to the injured person taking into account every day of her life that she will have to live with that scar.
Third is that there is something that is just plain scary about dogs. A dog who bites is out of control. A “bad dog” is even scarier. If someone on the jury has had a bad experience with a dog, they are not going to be very sympathetic to the defense.
In another blog, I describe how Ohio law says that the owner, harborer, or keeper of a dog may be responsible for the bite. Insurance companies are intensely aware that juries don’t like dogs that bite. They investigate claims early and hard.
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you need a lawyer. Call me, Bill Strubbe, a Cincinnati Personal Injury Attorney. My phone is 513-621-4775. There is no charge for talking to me.
Other lawyers refer their clients to me. And if you decide you‘d rather hire someone else, that’s OK.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.