WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE A LAWYER WHEN BITTEN BY A DOGLast updated on: October 17, 2022
While dogs are a beloved pet, not all of them have received the proper training to ensure that they will not bite. There are countless horror stories of people being mauled and even killed by family dogs, and some dog breeds are banned in certain countries.
If you or a loved one was bitten by a dog and require medical treatment, you may be able to receive compensation for your injury. Contact the lawyers at Zinda Law Group today for an experienced attorney to speak with you.
THE DANGERS OF DOG BITES
As the victim of a dog bite, you can be exposed to an array of unsettling conditions if the bite is not treated. If you can, get the dog’s vaccination history for medical purposes. For legal purposes, try to get the dog’s history of biting or other violent behavior.
The bacteria that live in a dog’s mouth can cause the bite to become infected if it is not treated quickly, though the risk of infection is more serious for people with diabetes or weakened immune systems.
The deeper the bite, the more likely you may have nerve or muscle damage. The bite can also hurt blood vessels underneath your skin. A bite can be deep even if its mark is not very visible on the victim’s skin.
Several big breeds of dogs can bite with enough force to break, splinter, or fracture bones. This is especially likely with smaller bones in the hands and feet.
Rabies is a condition that is entirely treatable but potentially deadly when left untreated. Death can occur within days of infection. Therefore, visit a doctor to treat the bite if the dog does not have its rabies vaccinations or if you do not know whether the dog is vaccinated.
While you have probably had your tetanus shot, it is possible for someone who has not gotten their tetanus shot to contract the disease from a dog bite. If you have not had your tetanus shot or have not received a booster shot within the past ten years, let your doctor know immediately.
You can also be left with a visible reminder of the bite through scarring. Many times, scars get smaller over time. If your scar persists or is so severe that it affects the appearance of your face, you might opt for plastic surgery or a skin graft.
Dog bites may even result in death. Death due to dog bites is relatively rare, but 6,000 to 13,000 people are hospitalized each year due to dog attacks. Unfortunately, small children are most at risk to die from a dog bite.
THE FINANCIAL CONSEQUENCES OF A DOG BITE ATTACK CAN BE DEVASTATING
While treatment of the dog bite can lessen or even relieve the symptoms, it comes at its own cost. You may consider the expenses of your medical injuries, but there are other costs you might not anticipate.
For example, you might need to take time off work while you recover from your injuries. Depending on how many sick days your employer allotted, you might not be paid during that time. Additionally, you might suffer mental and emotional harm from the bite that you need to address through psychological treatment.
A legal claim can allow you to be compensated for your economic damages, including your medical bills and missed wages from time off work, and your non-economic damages, including your pain and suffering from the incident. In some extreme cases, a court may award punitive damages to punish the defendant for reckless conduct and deter the defendant from similar conduct in the future.
WHY DO I NEED A DOG BITE LAWYER?
When deciding whether to hire an attorney after a dog bite you should consider whether you will result in a higher net recovery after paying an attorney than before. However, you can always benefit from a free consultation with a lawyer.
IF YOU SUFFERED A MINOR INJURY
It is important to always carefully consider your options. If your case involves personal injuries, a more detailed analysis is required.
A lawyer can guide you in an initial consultation before you even decide whether to hire a lawyer. An attorney can analyze your case and determine if filing a claim would even be worth your time.
For example, if the injuries are minor and you fully recover from the injuries in a few days, you may not need an attorney. Minor injuries generally result in less than $1,000.00 in medical bills and no scarring or continuous mental-health issues due to the attack.
IF YOU CONTINUE TO HAVE MENTAL ANGUISH AFTER THE BITE
Many times, the most difficult part of a dog bite is the fear from dogs that results after an attack. If the dog bite was frightening or you continue to have problems with fear, anxiety, or distress after a dog bite you should at least consult with an attorney to see if you have a case.
IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE WAS SEVERELY INJURED OR KILLED
If your case involves anything more than minor injuries, it is likely that you will benefit by hiring an attorney. Most people do not typically have the necessary negotiation skills, knowledge of the law, and experience in evaluating damages to obtain a fair settlement value for major injury cases.
As such, when negotiating with an insurance adjuster, non-lawyers are at a distinct disadvantage. Do not be misled by the adjuster’s statements that hiring an attorney will reduce your net settlement or delay payment for your claim.
The insurance industries’ own statistics do not support these statements.
In 2014, the Insurance Research Council released a study that found that people who used an attorney received an average of three and one-half times more money in settlement than those individuals who settled on their own. Thus, if you seek to obtain a fair settlement for your injuries, the use of an experienced personal injury lawyer is vitally required.
BENEFITS OF HIRING A DOG BITE LAWYER
A dog bite lawyer has the experience, professionalism, and resources to help you with your case. The lawyer can help you at every step of your claim, from filing it to potentially going to trial.
To file your claim, you must be within the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in your state. You must also file against the correct person and use the correct legal theory to do so. An attorney can help ensure that you do not make any mistakes early in the process that could result in the dismissal of your claim.
Next, an attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to negotiate your claim. You may battle with the insurance companies and the defendant’s lawyers to get the compensation you deserve, but an attorney can handle all of those communications on your behalf.
If the defendant does not offer you an acceptable settlement amount, then your attorney might advise you to go to trial. However, most cases settle. Try to set your expectations based on your attorney’s experience.
CAN A DOG OWNER FIGHT MY CLAIM?
The dog owner may raise defenses against your claim, perhaps arguing that you provoked the dog or that you were trespassing. A consultation with a lawyer can help you decide whether your claim is strong enough to overcome such defenses.
SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION TODAY
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, call the Zinda Law Group dog bite lawyers (888) 400-6637 for a free consultation.
You do not owe us a penny unless we win your case for you.