If you love animals, and especially if you have been a dog owner your whole life, you probably never expected that a dog would bite you. It is true that dogs are usually harmless and that the laws preventing dog owners from letting their dogs walk on public property without a leash are sufficient to prevent most dog bites, but when a dog does bite a person, the injuries can be serious. According to the Center for Disease Control, there are 4.7 million dog bites every year. Statistically, that means that there are 2,400 dog attacks every day, 100 attacks each hour, and 36 attacks every second. Currently, around 800,000 of those 4,700,000 dog bites require medical attention. The Center for Disease Control also reported that mixed breeds are responsible for the second-highest dog bite fatalities in the United States. Victims of dog bites have the right to recover damages for medical bills and other expenses they incur because of the injury. In 2018 alone, insurance companies paid $675 million in dog bite liability claims.
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Dog bite victims are entitled to recover damages for their medical bills, expenses, and pain and suffering incurred due to the bite injuries. however, insurance companies will go to great lengths to avoid paying you compensation for your injuries, and if they do, they often give you the least amount of money possible. Dog bite insurance statistics records show insurance costs per claim increasing to $44,760 from $39,017 in 2018. You need the dog bite attorneys of Foster Wallace, LLC to help you get fair compensation for your dog bite injuries.
We found that there are six general mistakes to avoid if you’ve been bitten by a dog and want to make a claim against the dog’s owner for compensation. here are those six:
mistake #1: failing to collect essential information and evidence
The more pictures you take in the first few minutes after a dog bites you, the better. take pictures of his injuries. take photos of your surroundings, such as a dog park or a yard with a broken fence. if possible, take pictures of the dog. if the dog has a collar, take a picture of it. Get the dog owner’s contact information. if you don’t collect this evidence immediately after the accident, it will be difficult to re-create it later.
mistake #2: waiting too long for medical treatment
Some injuries, including dog bites, hurt more on the second or third day than right after they happen. swelling and bruising also take time to appear. For purposes of presenting evidence in a dog bite lawsuit, it is important to have your injuries examined by a doctor on the day of the accident, even if they are not very painful. Of the 800,000 attacks annually, 334,000 are severe enough to warrant hospitalization. that is important information to record for your case. When you are examined by a doctor, the doctor’s notes about your injuries are included in your medical record, and you can use the record as evidence if you file a dog bite lawsuit or settle a dog bite case before you sue.
mistake #3: hiding information from doctors
It is important to tell your doctor how the dog bite injuries occurred. it is important to tell your doctor the whole truth. Even if you tried to pet a stray dog, or maybe you were on someone’s property without the owner’s knowledge and the owner’s dog bit you, let your doctor know. Dog bites can happen in many different ways; don’t be ashamed of any of them! Dog attacks most often occur in the victim’s home or the home of a friend of the victim. significantly, 77% of dog bites are from dogs owned by the victim’s family or a family friend. if you leave out part of the story, the details you left out could be revealed in other evidence. if that happens, your story may seem less credible and your case could be more difficult.
mistake #4: not notifying the dog’s owner
Even if you generally don’t like confrontations, it’s important to tell the owner of the dog that bit you about the incident. if the landlord finds out later, they may deny that the incident happened the way you described it. If you can’t find the dog’s owner, for example, if the dog was unaccompanied in a neighborhood or at a busy dog park where it was hard to tell which dogs belonged to which people, exchange contact information with as many witnesses to the incident as possible. possible.
mistake #5: giving the insurance company too much information and access to information
If you file a claim with the dog owner’s insurance company, the insurance company will attempt to obtain a recorded statement from you about your encounter with the dog. Although the agent may tell you that giving a recorded statement is a requirement to get compensation for your claim, this is not true. the real purpose of getting a recorded statement is to catch you in the act of being inconsistent with your story, so the insurance company can reduce the amount they offer you. whatever you do:
- Do not state that your injuries are your fault.
- don’t say the dog bit you because of something you did.
- do not minimize the seriousness of your injuries.
The best thing to do is not to give a recorded statement at all and let your dog bite attorneys do the talking.
The insurance company may also request access to your medical records. do not grant them access; your medical records are confidential and you have the right to not let anyone see them except your doctors. Insurance companies aren’t just looking for information about dog bite injury; they are looking for anything to use against you in court. For example, if you are mentally ill or have previously filed a personal injury claim over another injury, they will try to argue that you are only filing the claim to manipulate. A lot of people are surprised that insurance companies would do something so sleazy or unfair, but sometimes they do, and you can prevent it by not allowing them access to your medical records.
mistake #6: not consulting a lawyer
It’s never too early to talk to an attorney about your injuries. Even if you’re not sure if you need to file a dog bite lawsuit, or even how serious your injuries are, it’s best to get a professional opinion from trusted dog bite attorneys.
Attorneys, like doctors, are no strangers to dog bite cases or the expense that cases can incur. The Insurance Information Institute reported that dog bite liability claims cost $797 million in 2019.
A dog bite injury attorney is your best protection. Your dog bite attorney will know exactly what to say when talking to insurance companies and other attorneys about your claim. Your attorney will tell you if the settlement offered by the insurance company is fair and reasonable. They will also help maximize your chances of winning a lawsuit if you decide to file one.
have you been attacked by a dog in kansas city?
If you have been attacked by a dog in Kansas City, you should speak with an experienced dog bite attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.249.2101 to schedule your free consultation.