Getting Compensated For Dog Bites
Medical professionals and health experts advise that walking can benefit your health in many ways, but if you have been attacked by a dog while on your daily walk or run, the results can be anything but healthy. Even dogs who are vaccinated from rabies can harbor dangerous bacteria in their mouths, and wounds can become infected with any number of infectious bugs. No matter how serious the injury, medical expenses and pain and suffering can leave you hundreds of dollars in debt and afraid to enjoy your usual walk or run. You know you should hold the dog's owner responsible for your injuries, but do you have a personal injury case? Read on for 10 key facts to know about dog bite injuries.
1. If the owner of the dog is present, get their contact information. Call the police and ensure that a report is filed if the dog's owner appears to be uncooperative or leaves without providing information.
2. Many states have a "one bite free" rule, so don't neglect to report the bite to your municipal animal control office. Once a dog has had at least two dog bite incidents, legal action can be taken by the animal control board to prevent a potentially dangerous dog from injuring others. Even relatively minor bites should be reported.
3. Snap a photo of the dog with your phone at the time of the incident, if possible. If you have the owner's address, you may be able to get a photo of the dog in the yard or when the owner takes it out for a walk.
4. You may be entitled to get compensated from the dog's owner for medical expenses, lost wages, damages to personal property (torn pants, broken glasses, etc.) and pain and suffering.
5. If the dog's owner is a homeowner, their homeowner's insurance will sometimes cover dog bite claims.
6. If the dog owner's insurance company contacts you, do not give a recorded statement without consulting with a personal injury attorney. Many times the claims adjusters utilize sneaky techniques to prompt you to damage your chances to a fair claim, such as using leading and open-ended questions.
7. Don't be too quick to accept a settlement for damages, you could be missing out on certain aspects of your injury that you may not have fully thought out, such as the need for future reconstructive surgeries. While you should keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations on personal injury claims in all states, your attorney will be knowledgeable about those rules and help ensure that you get the full amount of compensation that you are entitled to receive.
8. Personal injury attorneys frequently will go to work for you on a contingency fee basis, which means that you owe no money to the lawyer unless your case is successful.
9. Settlement negotiation is an art, and most personal injury attorneys are well-experienced in dealing with both dog owners and insurance claims adjusters. They will also have personal, local knowledge about what you should reasonably expect to receive for your injury.
10. Taking your attorney's advice when it comes to the decision to either settle or take your case to trial is vital.
Contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible if you are suffering from a dog bite injury caused through no fault of your own, and get property compensated.