If you have been bitten by a dog and you have incurred (or will incur) medical treatment and expenses, you should seek compensation. Rather than go it alone, it is in your best interest to hire a lawyer to handle your dog bite claim for you. Without legal representation, you are unlikely to receive as much compensation from an insurance adjuster as you would by having legal representation. And as a victim, should you require cosmetic reconstruction, this is not covered by medical insurance, making it crucial for you to receive compensation to cover the expense. Here are 3 things to consider which may persuade you to contact a dog bite attorney:
1. A Lawyer Specializing in Dog Bite Cases Will Help You Obtain the Maximum Compensation By Implementing the Right Plan
Did you know that without without legal representation, victims of dog bite injuries who file a claim will receive 10-20 percent less compensation than those whose lawyers handled the case? A non-professional may not have the knowledge of the best approach that brings results. An attorney, however, knows the best course of action to take, which typically includes gathering necessary paperwork such as a documented proof of lost income due to your injury. He or she may also help you add up all your medical expenses, including out-of-pocket costs for over-the-counter medications, ambulance service (if applicable) or even the cost of gasoline from driving to and from doctor appointments. Your dog bite attorney also knows how to receive maximum settlement compensation for "pain and anguish" suffered from your incident.
Additionally, you need cold, hard facts for getting the maximum money to compensate your medical costs, and an experienced professional knows how to obtain those facts. In order to present the details to an insurance adjuster, an attorney may take several measures, including:
Speaking to Witnesses
Obtaining Animal Control Reports Pertaining to Your Incident
Gathering Information About Prior Incidents Involving the Dog: For example, if the dog has a prior history of aggression and attacks, this can substantiate your claim. It may back up your claim that you did not provoke the dog, because there were other instances of aggression in the past.
2. Many Dog Bite Lawyers Work on a Contingency Plan
If you are not considering hiring a lawyer to handle your claim due to lack of immediate funds, you might want to reconsider. Most dog bite lawyers work on a contingency plan. What this means to you is no upfront costs. You may not have to pay your lawyer any out-of-pocket expense. The lawyer's fee will be contingent upon how much money is obtained through your claim. He or she will receive a percentage of the recovered money for the case.
3. Hiring an Attorney Will Help You Avoid Resentment or Hard Feelings From the Responsible Party
By handling a claim oneself, the victim may unwittingly say things that could cause the dog owner to become resentful or angry. If the dog belongs to a friend or family member of the victim, handling your own case may cause a riff or tension between both parties. However, when you hire legal representation, the dog owner will never be confronted and threatened, or harassed in any way.
This means a claim does not have to destroy a relationship between the victim and the dog owner, as long as both parties are being responsible and fair. Also, as an attorney may inform you, the dog owner will not have to pay a deductible or co-pay to his or her insurance company when a file has been claimed. This means the dog owner will not incur monetary costs. You might ask your attorney to explain this to the dog owner, and once that is understood, there is less chance for bad feelings to be harbored.