How the Right Attorney Can Make a Huge Impact on Your Dog Bite Case
Dog attacks are terrifying, even if you don’t get bitten. It makes you feel like you’re the wildebeest chased down by lions on a nature show. Sadly, the most fearsome aspects of many dog bites are the disfiguring scars and emotional trauma victims can be left with forever after a pet turned predator gets his fill of you.
It’s especially bad when the victim is a child.
The first hurdle is finding out if there’s insurance to cover it. It’s usually the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy, but that doesn’t make it easy to get a proper settlement. Here’s why it’s a good idea to hire an experienced dog bite attorney to help you:
- You don’t know the right settlement amount to aim for—and it could be way more than you think. Valuing a case is a complex science based on many factors. Critical factors that can make the value of a dog attack case change dramatically include future plastic surgery to fix scarring, emotional harm, and whether your case has the potential for punitive damages.
- You don’t know how to negotiate with the insurance company. Negotiating with an insurance company is just bizarre to most folks. I’ve represented businesspeople who negotiate for a living but just can’t understand it. In the face of shockingly low offers and totally unfounded reasons given for them, you’ve got to keep a cool head and not get emotionally involved. That’s extremely hard when you’re the victim. It just naturally clouds your judgment in a decision with potentially lifelong implications. An experienced attorney leaves you out of these intense conversations to forge a clear path to resolving your case.
- You don’t know how to develop a compelling presentation to convince the insurance company to settle. All injury case negotiation is geared toward one thing: you can prove it at trial. If you don’t know what to prove or how to prove it under the rules of evidence, prepare to walk away almost empty-handed with no one to blame but you.
- You don’t know how to handle medical evidence. To get a good settlement, you’ve got to handle medical evidence the right way. It can drive your settlement amount, but you’ve got to know what’s important. It’s vital to investigate and present future medical needs the right way. With future plastic surgery and ongoing counseling as part of your life, a skilled attorney can help get you a settlement to cover it.
“What Should I Do If A Dog Bites Me
- Contact the police – Dog bite injuries often become complicated because people have conflicting stories about what happened. Let the police interview everyone and decide the truth.
- Take photographs – The more evidence you have, the better. Photographs can serve as valuable evidence in your case. Take photos of your injury, the dog, where the dog was kept and anything else that seems important. Evidence builds strong cases.
- Take notes – Write down the time of the dog attack, where it took place, if there was a fence keeping the dog on the property or other important information.
- Talk to witnesses – If you see someone you saw the dog bite you or your loved one, get their full name, address and phone number. You or the police might need to interview them again for more information.
- Talk to the dog owner – Simply get the full name, address and phone number of the dog owner. This information could prove to be crucial during the investigation.
- Seek medical attention – Even if the dog bite does not seem serious, let a doctor decide. What might seem like a minor injury could be much worse.
- Contact us – Let our experienced Pennsylvania dog bite attorneys work with you and help you build a strong case.
Why You Should Hire a Dog Bite Lawyer
Dogs are the best man’s friends and pets, but sometimes they can attack people and cause serious injuries. Some of these attacks can cause a lot of suffering and pain to the affected persons. Anyone who has been bitten by dogs should seek immediate medical attention. Victims of dog attacks can get the right compensation from dog owners by hiring experienced and aggressive dog bite lawyers.
Professionals have excellent negotiation skills and can help you in filing your case and thus ensure that the matter is resolved as quickly as possible.
They are Experienced and Knowledgeable
Experience is one of the main benefits that you can get by working with a professional dog bite lawyer. These lawyers are well versed in all the local laws pertaining to animal control. In most cases, the pet owner is held accountable when his dog bites or harms a person. The lawyer hired can adequately prepare your cases and ensure that the dog owner fully compensates you. He can also help you claim all the money you have incurred in terms of medical costs.
They Have Access to Useful Resources
Dog bite attorneys have access to plenty of resources to support your cases. For instance, they can hire investigators to gather the evidence needed to prove that the pet owners were indeed negligent for the attack. In essence, it required a team to handle some of the complex matters.
They Can Prepare for Your Defense
Some dog owners can confuse victims of dog attacks and even sue them for negligence. It is, therefore, important to hire an experienced dog bite attorneys to sue the dog owners. He or she can ask the dog owners in the courtroom to prove that the owner was negligent and, therefore, responsible for the incident. Anyone who wants to get a fair dealing should seek the services of the professionals.
Have Excellent Negotiation Skills
Professional lawyers are well-trained and have good negotiation skills. These are guys who can comfortably deal with other lawyers and insurance companies. This means that they can fight for their clients’ best interests and, in particular, dog attack victims.
Dog Bite Frequently Asked Questions
How much should I expect from my dog bite personal injury claim?
In 2014, the average dog bite home insurance claim was $32,018. This is an increase of nearly $5,000 over claims made in 2013. New York State had the highest reported average at a whopping $56,628 per claim.Since no two cases are the same, nor two injuries, you should not expect to receive this much if you’ve been bitten by a dog. Dog bite settlements depend on the severity of the attack and the length of medical treatment required. For more information contact an attorney at The Advocates Law. We’ll answer all of your questions.
Who is responsible for my dog bite injury?
Dog bite cases can become rather complex and the relevant law tends to vary from state to state, and even from one county to the next. For further information contact The Advocates. Our attorneys are experts in dog bite law.
How long does a dog bite case typically take to settle?
The short answer is months, if not years. If your case is clear cut and liability is easy to determine, then your case could settle out of court and be concluded within 4 to 12 months.If your case does go into litigation, then it may not settle for a number of years. The discovery phase following the filing of lawsuit can be anywhere between 6 to 12 months. The good news is that most personal injury cases never go to trial.
Is It Necessary to Hire a Dog Bite Lawyer if I’m Bitten by a Dog?
Only one percent of dog bite victims who suffer injuries receive compensation. Even if there is a rock-solid case, you a need dog bite lawyer to have any chance of earning damages. Just because you hire a lawyer, though, does not mean the case is going to court.
It is no secret that court cases can be expensive. More often than not, it is in the best interests of all parties involved to settle the dispute out of court. According to a government survey, 97 percent of civil suits end out of court or without a trail, with plaintiffs receiving $4.4 billion in damages annually.
If you and the other party decide you want to settle out of court, a dog bite lawyer will be there to represent you during the negotiating process. These negotiations require the same meticulous and persuasive maneuvering as the courtroom, but without the same legal stakes. A lawyer will ensure you receive a fair deal by maximizing leverage and dictating the agenda.
Of course, not every case can be settled out of court. If you believe your lawsuit should go to court, a dog bite lawyer can make sure you have the materials and evidence to win. Having a lawyer can provide an accurate picture of the legal process, which will go a long way toward minimizing stress and hassles.
The choice of whether or not to hire a dog bite lawyer is a case-by-case consideration. If there is a significant injury, at a bare minimum, you should have a complimentary consultation with a lawyer. This meeting will assess your chance of winning based on evidence, witness testimonial, and other elements of proof.