Seeking compensation for an injury caused be another person or animal can be filled with challenges. The best thing to do in this type of situation is to find an experienced personal injury attorney. While such an injury could sometimes be settled without legal counsel, there are certain negotiation techniques that can help you navigate a dog bite injury claim. By hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer, pursuing compensation for your injuries will likely be less stressful, generate a bigger payout, overall run more smoothly.
Dog Bite Injury Scenario
Let’s say someone else’s dog bites you. You will likely expect compensation for your damages (medical treatment, missed work, pain and suffering, scarring, etc.). More often than not, this will mean contacting the insurance company of the dog owner and filing a claim through their homeowner’s insurance.
For the best possible outcome, especially if a child has been bitten or if the injuries are severe, it is recommended to hire a skilled personal injury attorney.
Two categories of damages will come into play when you begin negotiating with the claims adjuster to get reimbursed by the insurance company:
- General damages – These apply to emotional distress, suffering, and pain for which there are no objective measurements.
- Special damages – These can apply to out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, medical bills, and other costs. Receipts, statements, and bills are used to measure these costs.
See below to successfully negotiate a settlement and establish a valid dog bite case:
Tips for Negotiating a Dog Bite Injury Case:
The following advice may help negotiate a settlement if you are the victim of a dog bite injury:
- Seek medical attention immediately.
- Alert your local authorities as soon as possible. Animal control officers have the power to
- Remove the dog from the site
- Order the owner to muzzle or confine the dog
- Issue citations against the dog owner
- Have the dog tested for rabies
- Quarantine the dog
- Take a lot of pictures early on and throughout your healing process
- Gather as much information as you can on the dog owner. Full Name, Own/Rent, etc.
- Check your local laws on dog bites.
- Collect and save as much documented evidence on the following to support your claim:
- Physical evidence
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Witness statements
- Videos and photographs
- Try to determine your claim’s worth by adding up costs from the following:
- Transportation costs for medical treatment
- Lost wages
- Out-of-pocket medical expenses-prescriptions
- Therapy bills
- Medical bills and ambulance bills
- We don’t advise talking to an adjuster— but if you do, stay calm when speaking with the adjuster to avoid any confusion and don’t answer questions you don’t understand
- Remember that this is not a personal situation; it is purely business for the insurance company. It is therefore unlikely that the adjuster will be sympathetic to you and your needs.
- Get legal representation for your dog bite case quickly to help you through these steps!
Personal Injury Attorneys – Cardinal Law Partners
Are you the victim of a dog bite injury? You may be entitled to damages. Contact us at Cardinal Law Partners today for a free consultation.