8 Tips to Negotiate a Dog Bite Injury Case With no Lawyer?
It is your legal right to be fully compensated for the damages and injuries you incur when you end up getting bitten by a dog that is owned by someone else. The dog’s owner is the liable party responsible for the dog attack, dog bite injuries, medical treatment as well as medical bills.
The dog’s owner is also responsible for compensating you for the suffering, pain, lost wages, medical bills, and all other damages you incur due to the dog owner’s negligence.
In most dog bite cases, the insurance companies pay the compensation for the damages you incur but it is the dog owner’s insurance company you or your personal injury lawyer must reach out to.
Let a Professional Personal Injury Attorney deal with a Dog Bite Case
The case must be dealt with more carefully and professionally when the dog bite victim is a child or a minor. If the victim is an adult and common dog bite injuries are faced, then the person can pursue a personal injury claim on their own.
8 Tips to Keep in Mind When Pursuing a Dog Attack Settlement
Below are the steps one must keep in mind when dealing with a personal injury claim, and the same can be followed when a dog bite settlement is being handled:
- Get Medical Attention and Treatment on an Emergency Basis
- Make sure that the local authorities are reported the dog bite incident without any delay
- Find who the dog owner is
- Check the guidelines governing local dog bite law
- Collect evidence so your claim can have a strong backing
- Know about the worth of your dog bite claim
- Be mindful and careful when giving details to the claim adjuster/insurance adjuster.
- Emphasize that nothing wrong was done from your side of the dog bite
- Do not take things personally
- Do not hesitate to seek legal help for the dog bite case.
You have to keep in mind that there are two damage categories when pursuing compensation or settlement from an insurance company:
This category includes pain and suffering. For different forms of emotional distress such as pain, suffering, and other kinds of suffering, there is no objective measurement as a result of a dog attack.
This category includes hard costs that you have to pay as a result of a dog bite. These costs include out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, medical bills, and loss of employment.
Now that you are aware of the general and special damages, it is time to look at the tips that you must be mindful of when pursuing dog injury claims:
1. Get Medical Attention and Treatment on an Emergency Basis
Right after a dog attack, it is very important for you to get immediate medical attention as they are very important for your personal safety and health. Doing this also makes it easier when you are going for an insurance claim.
Get the proper treatment right after the dog has been bitten so you can save yourself from any potential infections or diseases. Fully record the details as to where you suffered from the dog bite to smoothen the dog bite claim. It is important that a link between the dog bite and the medical treatment is built.
Remember, the insurance company would try its best to deny any insurance claim made by you for the injuries you suffer due to the dog bite. Therefore, never refuse any immediate medical treatment offered at the medical facility.
2. Make sure that the local authorities are reported the dog bite incident without any delay
In the majority of states, it is the medical care providers who are authorized and required to report dog bites. No matter the state rule, it falls upon you to report the dog attack case to the animal control and local animal departments.
Once contacted, an officer from animal control will establish contact with the dog’s owner and collect proof of the dog’s health and rabies vaccinations.
In case of a dog attack, the officers at the animal control have authorization to:
- Observe the dog by getting him removed from the location where it is kept
- Instruct the dog owner to muzzle or confine the dog
- Issue the dog owners with citations for the dog attack
- Have tests been carried out on the dog to find traces of rabies?
If a dog has an increased size or old age, it has a higher chance of becoming a carrier of diseases, including rabies. It is very important that you deal with the dog bite accident very carefully and report the incident to the local authorities.
3. Find who the dog owner is
Once the dog attack incident has been reported, you are required to acquire the address and the name of the dog owner. It would help if you also had the name of the insurance company of the homeowner. If the dog owner is a renter, then you have to approach the renter’s insurance policies of the renter’s insurance company. You also have to acquire the contact details of the landlord.
You can get the dog owner’s information from an animal control report or a police report if the owner is ducking your attempts to speak with them or is a stranger. You can also acquire the dog’s health report.
4. Check the guidelines governing local dog bite law
Based on the state you live in, it is important you are aware of the local and state dog bite laws to pursue your dog bite claim. Some of the states in the United States have very firm and strict liability laws that state it is the owner of the dog who is responsible for the attack regardless of the situation.
Then there are a few states that have a “one bite” rule in place, which states that the owner of the dog cannot be held liable for the attack. However, if you can prove that the dog owner was negligent when the incident occurred, then you have a chance of pursuing your claim.
If the dog owner is found at fault and negligent, then the dog owner is held liable for the incident. It is the responsibility of the dog owner to know that their dog has the tendency of lunging at children or strangers and also snarl and snap against them. Therefore, the law holds the dog owner liable and, to be clear, strictly liable for the dog’s aggression.
5. Collect evidence so your claim can have a strong backing
To pursue dog bite claims, you have to collect as much evidence as possible. For the dog bite injury claim, strong evidence has to be collected, which shows the scope of your injuries and the dog owner’s negligence. Sometimes dog owner’s property is where the dog bites happen. So there could be homeowner’s insurance to cover things. Sometimes liability or fault is easier to prove due to the dog bite statute protecting people legally.
The evidence that you have to collect in order to pursue a dog bite settlement include:
- Physical Evidence
- Lost Wages
- Medical Expenses
- Witness Statements
- Photographs and Videos.
6. Know about the worth of your dog bite injury claim
Once your medical treatment is complete, you’ll be able to calculate how much has been spent due to the accident. You must gather all the bills’ receipts and proofs before adding them to the compensation claim. The majority of the time, the bills and proofs of payments personal injury attorneys can collect for accident victims are many. Even the best personal injury law firm can be hamstrung by a client who delays seeking medical attention and legal help.
Whatever happens, make sure you contact animal control officers and if a dog bit you or a loved one, especially small children. Getting a lawyer means help locating coverage under renters insurance policies and other places for physical injuries. My experience is that an experienced lawyer will be better at getting you paid the most compensation for your injuries.
The insurance adjusters will need to take additional steps to make sure the rights of the minor are protected until they reach the age of majority. You will also likely have costs for physical therapy, and lost wages after being bit, and falling after a viscious animal attack occurred.
Transportation costs incurred when going to medical appointments:
- Lost wages
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Physical therapy bills
- Medical bills
- Ambulance bills.
Once all the hard costs have been totaled, you have to add them to add the general damages, such as pain and suffering, which would make up your settlement amount.
7. Be mindful and careful when giving details to the claim adjuster/insurance adjuster
In case of a dog bite, the insurance policy of the dog owner’s homeowner is liable for the claim. After submitting the claim, the representative at the insurance company contacts you via telephone, who is known as the Claims Adjuster.
When talking to the representative, you must:
- Pace yourself
- Express no desperation for money
- Avoid sarcasm
- Maintain a voice that is steady.
8. Emphasize that nothing wrong was done from your side
You have to be clear that it was you who ended up getting viciously attacked by the dog so it was not your fault at all.
Describe the entire situation to the adjuster from start to end and where you were when the incident took place. You have to be clear if you were on foot, on a bicycle, or on a bike when the attack took place.
9. Do not take things personally
Keep in mind that the adjuster may empathize with you but do not expect genuine sympathy. No matter how severe your case may be, they have many other cases and claims they have to deal with. So do not take it personally if your case is not dealt with immediately.
10. Do not hesitate to seek legal help for the dog bites case
If you were If you feel that you will not be able to deal with the entire situation on your own, then you can seek help, and legal advice from a professional dog bite lawyer. Every dog bite attorney at a better Los Angeles law firm will be experienced enough to guide you with the dog bite lawsuit.
At the best law firm, you get to have a free consultation, and they would also advise you you seek medical attention and go through all the necessary procedures while helping you get a high settlement amount for any injuries caused by the dog. Do you want to pursue compensation for a dog bite? Here are some other useful resoources: