Here’s Why You Need to Hire a Dog Bite Attorney
Being attacked by a dog can be both physically and emotionally scarring. If you or a family member has been bitten by a dog and the owner of the dog is liable for their pets’ actions, you are entitled to compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and any future expenses, such as professional counseling, that may be needed. When dealing with an attack by a dog, one of the very best things that you can do is hire an experienced dog bite attorney. A dog bite attorney is an excellent resource who can help ensure that you receive the settlement that you deserve. Some of the top benefits of hiring a dog bite attorney include:
Communicating with the owners of a dog who bit you, as well as their homeowners’ insurance company, can be quite a hassle. This can be especially true if there is any animosity between you and the dog owner. One of the great things about hiring a dog bite attorney is the fact that he or she will take care of all necessary communication so you don’t have to. After you hire your attorney, he or she will get in touch with the dog owner to collect information about their homeowners’ insurance carrier and policy. Then, your attorney will continue to communicate with the insurance company on your behalf.
Determination of What Your Claim Is Worth
Most people have little to no experience with dog bite injury claims, so they have no idea of what their claim is worth. Homeowners’ insurance companies know this, and they try to take advantage of this fact by offering dog bite victims who do not have legal representation low settlement amounts. When you hire a dog bite attorney, he or she will be able to assess the details of your case, look at your medical records, and determine what size settlement you are entitled to. Your attorney will then negotiate on your behalf to ensure that the settlement that you receive is fair.
No Out-of-Pocket Costs
Almost all dog bite attorneys work on contingency, so their services won’t cost you a dime out of pocket. They are paid for their legal services with a percentage of your settlement. Since it won’t cost you any money to utilize the services of a dog bite attorney, it doesn’t make sense not to hire one if you have been injured after being attacked by a dog.
Dog Bites Can Involve a Range of Complications
Outside of physical injury, dog bites can also be a source of ongoing mental distress for many victims. For instance, a victim of a dog bite injury in Boulder may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the attack. This mental anguish can affect many other aspects of one’s life, from the ability to earn a living to being able to take a walk outside.
If the dog bite is severe enough, it may require medical attention. In many cases, this medical care must be paid for by the victim, even though the sustained injuries are result of someone else’s negligence. This is especially true for dog owners who haven’t taken the proper precautions to ensure their pets aren’t a risk to others. Most states require that animals be leashed and contained when in public. In the event that a dog owner has failed to sufficiently control an animal, a legal solution may be required.
What to Do If You’ve Been Bitten By a Dog
If you have been bitten by a dog, the first response is probably to remove yourself (or the dog) from the situation. Even if the dog didn’t mean to bite aggressively, the ensuing commotion may cause the dog to panic further. This can result in greater injury.
After that, there are a few steps to take to clean the dog bite and prevent infection.
- Apply pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding. If possible, find a clean cloth or towel to prevent contamination.
- Go to the nearest kitchen or bathroom to clean the bite with soap and water.
- If the wound is very large or deep, head to a local clinic or doctor’s office, as you may need stitches or other assistance.
- Apply a clean bandage and a disinfecting ointment to the wound each day.
- Over the next few days, continue to change the bandages and check for any redness, swelling, or discharge that could indicate infection.
If you notice any of these symptoms, go to your doctor for antibiotics and treatment.
Benefits Of Hiring A Personal Injury Attorney
These are the benefits of hiring an attorney on a personal injury claim:
Most personal injury attorneys give free consultations to prospective clients. In some cases, the attorney will utilize hard sale tactics during the initial consultation. Because of this, sometimes it is difficult to leave the attorney’s office without signing a contingency fee agreement. However, since you do not owe the attorney anything for the free consultation, you can tell him that you want to speak to other attorneys before making your decision to hire one. You can obtain valuable information about the merits of your accident claim during this consultation. If the attorney does not spend much time with you during the initial consultation and doesn’t answer all of your questions, this is some indication of how he will probably handle your claim. Make list of questions for the consultation. This will afford greater knowledge and insight into your personal injury claim.
Once you hire an attorney on a personal injury claim, the attorney will deal with the insurance companies on your behalf. The end result will be reduced stress to you. Some personal injury attorneys don’t handle your property damage, because it involves a lot of time and effort for little, or no, compensation. Ask the attorney during the initial consultation if he handles property damage. If he doesn’t, he is not providing you with full service for his contingency fee. If he does, he is most likely a full-service Personal Injury Lawyer, and he will not take a contingency fee on the property damage and rental car aspects of your claim. This is major benefit of attorney representation.
Statute of Limitations.
Many victims of personal injury accidents who are not represented by an attorney fall victim to Statutes of Limitations. These are cut-off periods of time that can extinguish your claim. It these statutes of repose are “blown” by not filing a Complaint with the appropriate Court within the relevant Statute of Limitations, the result will be your inability to recover against the adverse party and/or his insurance coverage. You lose the right to sue the adverse party. Different statutes of limitations apply to third-party claims (claims against the other party’s liability coverage) and first party claims against your own insurance company. Your attorney will protect your interests regarding these cut-off dates.
What compensation am I entitled to?
An experienced attorney will advise you concerning what you can expect on your claim. The types of compensation that you are entitled to may change with time and the course of your medical treatment. Proof of wage loss to an adverse carrier generally involves doctor’s excuses, pay stubs to track your earnings history prior to the accident, payroll records showing your actual wage loss, and a letter from your employer explaining your job and compensation. If you have a substantial wage loss claim, you need an attorney to handle this aspect of your claim.
Ability to negotiate.
The hammer that the attorney has on a personal injury claim is that he can file suit causing the adverse insurance carrier to spend time and money to defend it. The layperson is not capable of putting this pressure on an insurance carrier. Therefore, the claimant will have much less negotiating power with the involved insurance company. The attorney can also sue the insurance company for bad faith on first party claims, if the insurance company doesn’t handle your claim fairly.