Dog bites are not nearly as typical of a personal injury compared to other issues like auto accidents or slip-and-fall incidents. You may be surprised that over four million dog bites in the United States occur each year. Almost a million of those incidents require medical care. If you find yourself in this situation, you might have many questions about how a dog bite lawsuit works. There are several common mistakes that dog bite injury victims and their loved ones can make, including:
Not Seeking Medical Treatment Immediately
Some dog bite injury victims do not think a dog bite is not that serious. However, many dog bite injury victims cannot be sure that the dog does not have rabies. Also, dogs have bacteria in their mouth that can cause serious. Going to the emergency room can help confirm the link between the dog bite and the injury. It can also provide the necessary documentation to support the claim.
Failing to Report the Bite
Some people may be traumatized after a dog bite and end up not notifying the police or animal control. Sometimes the dog owner asks the victim not to report the unpleasant incident and promises to pay for all medical bills to back out later. Alerting the authorities provides further documentation of the incident. Also, many jurisdictions have laws about dog bite injuries and statutory damages. Once you call the authorities, they can help establish liability in the case.
Providing a Statement to an Insurance Company
Insurance adjusters know how to extract information from claimants, and they will attempt to use it against them. Their goal is to save the insurance company as much money as possible. They commonly say they need a recorded statement but will use the information to justify a denial later on.
Forgetting to Photograph Injuries
If a dog bite injury is settled or taken to a jury, the dog bite will likely heal by the time you get to court. It can be difficult for others to realize the full extent of the damage based on the medical records alone, so providing photos of the dog bite injuries can help the jury see the bite’s seriousness. Photo of the injury and during the healing process can give a better idea of the time the injury took to heal.
Not Seeking Experienced Legal Representation
Many dog bite victims attempt to settle their claims without legal assistance, which is often a mistake. Insurance companies will always find a way to get out of paying or settling claims for less than they are worth. Legal representation can help negotiate when someone is up against professional negotiators. Victims often agree too quickly before realizing the full scope of injuries and other damages. Sadly, settling can cause a person to get paid unfairly.
When seeking legal assistance, it is essential to contact a lawyer who has experience in dog bite injury claims. They will know local dog bite laws and how to determine liability. They can handle communications with the insurance company and negotiate a reasonable settlement on your behalf. If the insurance company does not offer you the compensation you deserve, a personal injury lawyer at One Law Group can represent the client in court. Give our Beverly Hills office a call today.