Whether you prefer dogs or cats or enjoy both, the reality is that pets can be unpredictable. This is especially true of dogs. Whatever the situation and however calm and friendly a dog might be, they are still dangerous and may bite.
If you or a loved one has sustained a dog bite injury, it is important to know that it is never your or your loved one’s fault. When a dog bites, no matter the circumstances, it is ultimately the dog owners responsibility that their animal was not properly trained or restrained. Dog bites can be quite serious, so there are several key points when you or a loved one have been bitten by a dog.
What to do About a Dog Bite
Step 1: If you are bitten by a dog, it is important to locate the owner. If the dog is unaccompanied, this may be difficult to do. If the bite does not require immediate medical attention, ask people in the vicinity if they know the dog or the dog’s owners.
Step 2: Once you’ve located the owner, inform them what just transpired. Ask for their name and liability insurance information. If they refuse, call the police to let them know you have been bitten and the owner is refusing to cooperate.
Step 3: Make sure you take pictures of the bite as soon as possible. This could be very important for any future settlement amount.
Step 4: Go to the doctor immediately to get treated. Dog bites are serious and need to be treated with appropriate medical care. Follow the doctor’s instructions. If the doctor gives you a referral to a specialist, be sure to attend.
Step 5: Call a personal injury attorney. The attorney will contact the insurance companies on your behalf. All you need to worry about is your health. Insurance companies will be hounding you trying to force you to settle your claim for the lowest amount possible. When they call, they will pretend to have your best interests at heart. They do not. They have their shareholders’ interests at heart. A personal injury attorney who has handled dog-bite claims will be able to handle the matter from start to finish, ensuring the insurance companies don’t call.
Working With a Dog Bite Attorney
All attorney’s work, in a dog-bite claim, is on a contingency fee basis. This means your lawyer will not get paid unless you get a settlement for your claim. There is no upfront fee to hire a dog bite attorney when you have been bitten by a dog. It is imperative you seek out representation that has handled these claims many times before and understands the process involved.
It is important that during this time that your claim is being filed, that you stick with your medical treatment. You have already hired an attorney. Your focus now is getting better and updating your attorney with any developments. When you are done with your medical treatment, let your attorney handle your claim and present it to the insurance company. Be patient. The legal process can be slow but it is thorough.
At Russell and Hill, PLLC, we represent personal injury cases of all types, including dog bites. We have experienced attorneys who are able to represent you in the often complex and confusing process for many people.