When the dog owner denies having insurance coverage, the victim still may have a remedy, so here is the protocol that should be followed:
File a lawsuit to get information
Use your funds to retain a lawyer to file suit against the dog owners. There are several reasons for doing this. The best has to do with insurance. It is common for dog owners to lie about their insurance until they are sued. When they are served, they will then "come clean" by giving the victim's attorney the insurance information, or turning the matter over to their insurance company for defense and indemnification.
If the dog owner truly does not have insurance coverage, he may offer an acceptable settlement arrangement.
Another reason for filing the lawsuit has to do with finding someone other than the dog owner who is legally liable for what happened. Examples include a friend who co-owns the dog, an ex-boyfriend or ex-wife who still co-owns the dog, or a rescue group whose contract foolishly provides that it still owns the dog. A word of caution: discovering other parties who are legal owners of a dog is uniquely the job of a lawyer, not a person with little or no knowledge of dog bite law. See Tips and Tricks for Victims' Attorneys on this website or better yet view the video Tips and Tricks for Dog Bite Lawyers.
In some cases, the discovery phase of the lawsuit revealed that the dog was used in a business. This might make the business either a co-owner of the dog or the business might be considered to be the "principal" with the handler of the dog being the "agent." In one case handled by Kenneth M. Phillips, the person who walked the pit bull that attacked the child was doing so as an assignment by her employer, who was the owner of the dog.
Press hard at getting the dog owner convicted of a crime so there will be "restitution"
Do all you can to get the dog owner convicted of a crime. Push the cops and animal control for it, then push the city or county prosecutor to go through with it, then testify, then make it known that you need "restitution." This means that the convicted dog owner's sentence will include a requirement that all of your medical bills be paid. This will NOT cover pain and suffering, which is the "big" money in these cases, but only the medical bills. Additionally of course you will see that the dog owner is punished for what happened.