Have you recently been bitten by a dog and suffered severe injuries because of it? Do you fear that there is the potential for a long-term disability or scarring from the injuries you’ve sustained? If so, then you need to learn all you can about a dog bite injury lawsuit.
Doing so can help you seek the compensation that you’re entitled to. You’ll learn how to find the best personal injury lawyer and increase your chances of winning along the way.
See below for an in-depth guide answering some of the most common questions associated with a dog bite injury lawsuit.
Do I Need to Hire an Attorney?
If you’ve suffered severe injuries from a dog bite, then you’re entitled to receive compensation for the incident. This can help you cover things like medical expenses, lost wages from your inability to work while you recover, and so on.
However, that compensation won’t come without a bit of effort on your end. It’s rare that a defendant (EX: the owner of the dog that bit you) to willingly give you compensation right away. Don’t be surprised if they try to point the finger right back at you.
A personal injury lawyer is essential during this process. Dog bites are one of the trickiest cases to pursue because of the many questions involved.
Does the dog have a history of being vicious? Who was the victim of the bite? How much compensation should you pursue the dog bite? Do you have enough evidence to pursue a settlement? Is the evidence sufficient enough to increase your chances of winning if it were to go to trial?
An experienced dog bite attorney can sort this all out for you. They’ll help you determine the compensation amount you should pursue, then build evidence to strengthen your case.
Will the Dog Owner Have to Pay for My Compensation?
This is the most difficult aspect of a dog bite case for most people. Oftentimes, the dog that the plaintiff was bitten by is the dog of a neighbor, friend, or relative.
In that case, you don’t want to complicate your friendship or put your loved one under financial stress from the incident. However, you also don’t want to be responsible for medical expenses that you wouldn’t otherwise be paying.
You can find relief in the fact that the compensation you settle on isn’t likely to come out of your loved one’s pocket. What most people don’t realize is that most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies cover dog bites.
At most, your loved one will have to pay the deductible to activate their coverage, which is a small amount compared to the 5 figures a dog bite settlement can come out to.
Don’t let emotions stand in the way of you getting financial peace. The insurance companies will try to use those emotions against you, don’t let them win.
If your loved one’s coverage does not cover dog bites, then there are other ways a dog bite attorney can pursue the compensation you need.
What Are the Signs You Have a Legitimate Case?
There’s a common misconception about dog bite cases that the severity of the bite determines whether or not you deserve compensation. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Rather, the legitimacy of your case depends on two determining factors:
- Proof of the losses you’ve sustained as a result of the dog bite (such as medical expenses).
- Reason to believe that the defendant is motivated to settle before the case going to trial.
In any dog bite case, medical documentation is an essential piece of evidence. Make sure that you visit a hospital or urgent care as soon as the dog bite occurs.
If you hold off too long to receive medical treatment, the opposition will use it against you. They’ll claim that if your bite was as severe as you claim, you would’ve sought out treatment right away.
Determining the rate of recovery is difficult in dog bite cases. They differ from person to person. Only a medical doctor will be able to give accurate projections of your recovery.
If you’re concerned about covering the costs of medical expenses while you await a settlement, be sure to apply for pre-settlement funding.
How Much Can I Earn from My Dog Bite?
The answer depends on the severity of your injury/injuries. As with many other personal injury cases, there are a few main factors that you can use to gauge the settlement amount that you need:
- How severe your dog bite(s) are.
- How long your doctor projects it will take for a full recovery.
- The medical expenses you’ve accrued and will need to pay in the future.
- Any lost wages you’ve suffered from missing out on work due to the injury.
- Scaring of the bite and surgery you might need to remove it.
The attorney that you hire can help shine a light on this entire process. They’ll assess your situation and help you pursue the settlement amount that you are entitled to.
Hire the Right Attorney for Your Dog Bite Injury Lawsuit Today
Now that you have seen all of the different things you need to be aware of during your dog bite injury lawsuit, be sure to use this to your advantage.
Don’t let emotions stand in the way of getting the compensation you’re entitled to. As highlighted earlier, your loved ones won’t be on the hook for your expenses, their insurance company will.
Be sure to browse our website for more articles on dog bites, as well as many other topics that you will enjoy.