You’re coming home late from work one night, and your neighbor’s cat, a mean old thing who lives outdoors, leaps from the bushes and attacks you. You suffer bite wounds and scratches to your ankle, which unfortunately become infected and require you to visit the doctor, take antibiotics, and miss quite a bit of time from work. In addition, you must stay home from work for several more days, in order to keep your leg elevated. How would you be compensated?

You’ve suffered significantly, and have real economic losses, but can’t imagine suing your neighbor. Still, he owes you a duty of care, namely, not to let his cat roam wild, enter your property, and bite you. He’s breached this duty, and you’ve been injured as a result. The solution? Make a claim against his homeowners’ insurance. In all likelihood, he’s got coverage.

A common potential source of recovery for personal injuries–as well as protection against the personal injuries claims of others–is homeowners insurance. Take a look at your own policy. If you are a renter, take a look at your renter’s policy. See what it covers. Talk to your agent. Make sure you’ve got proper coverage for all of the sorts of mishaps that can happen as a result of defective conditions in or around your home, or as a result of your pets behaving badly.

Responsible neighbors don’t let their pets run wild. It’s risky for others, and bad for the pets’ health, too. Most jurisdictions have leash laws, which can be cited in support of a personal injuries claim based on a bite from a domestic pet. These days, there is simply no excuse for letting an animal run wild, day or night. Even cats. But if you should find yourself attacked by a neighbor’s pet, a qualified personal injury lawyer can help you investigate and pursue the right sort of claim.