Dog bites can cause painful and debilitating injuries. In many cases, they can also leave victims with lifelong physical and emotional scars.
Recovery can be a long and difficult process. For some dog bite victims, it will never be possible to fully move on.
Due to the physical and emotional effects of dog attacks, it is important that victims get the medical care they need. As this treatment can be incredibly expensive, it is also important that victims recover just compensation when they can.
Often, recovering fair compensation after a dog attack involves hiring a lawyer to establish liability for the dog bite, calculate the monetary value of your current and future losses, and take on the insurance companies to recover the financial compensation you deserve.
5 Times You Need a Dog Bite Lawyer
Do you need a dog bite lawyer? Here are five scenarios in which you should hire a lawyer to represent you:
1. You Were Bitten by a Neighbor’s Dog
Many attacks involve neighbors’ dogs. Too often, dog owners place too much trust in their pets. They let their dogs out without a leash and/or without a fence to contain them, and then their dogs attack because that is what their animal instincts tell them to do.
If you were bitten by a neighbor’s dog, you should hire a lawyer to represent you. Rather than filing a claim against your neighbor directly, recovering fair compensation will most likely involve dealing with your neighbor’s insurance company. Homeowners insurance and renters insurance policies can both provide coverage for dog attacks, and responsible dog owners should ensure that they have this coverage available.
2. You Were Bitten by a Friend’s or Family Member’s Dog
Likewise, if you were bitten by a dog belonging to a friend or family member, you can most likely file a claim under the applicable homeowners or renters insurance policy. Do not let the fact that the dog belongs to someone close to you discourage you from filing a claim. The insurance company, not the owner of the dog, will be responsible for covering your losses in the event of a dog bite.
3. You Were Bitten by a Dog While Running, Hiking, or Biking
Many dog bites happen at parks, on trails, and on city streets. When dog owners take their pets out in public, they have a legal obligation to keep their pets under control.
If you were bitten by a dog while running, hiking, or biking in Bakersfield, a dog bite lawyer will be able to help you file a claim. One of the most important reasons to speak to an attorney is to get help identifying the dog’s owner.
4. You Were Bitten by a Dog at a Veterinarian’s Office or Kennel
If you were bitten by a dog at a vet’s office or kennel, you could have a claim against the dog’s owner, the business, or both. A dog bite lawyer can assess your legal rights and pursue the appropriate claim or claims on your behalf.
5. Your Child Was Bitten by Someone Else’s Dog
Finally, if your child was bitten by someone else’s dog, this is also a situation in which you should hire a dog bite lawyer to help your family. Along with physical trauma, children who are injured in dog attacks will often suffer from lasting psychological trauma as well.
A dog bite lawyer will be able to help you seek the financial recovery needed to pay for all necessary care and ensure that your child is able to live as normal of a life as possible.
How Can a Dog Bite Lawyer Help You?
So, those are five scenarios in which you should hire a dog bite lawyer. Now, what can a dog bite lawyer do to help?
When you hire an experienced lawyer to represent you or your family, your lawyer will:
- Determine who is liable for the dog bite (i.e., the dog’s owner, a dog walker or sitter, a vet’s office, or a kennel).
- Determine what insurance coverage is available (i.e., homeowners insurance, renters insurance, or commercial liability insurance).
- File your claim with the appropriate insurance company and deal with the insurance company on your behalf.
- Work with you, your doctors, and other experts to calculate the economic (i.e., medical bills and lost wages) and non-economic (i.e. emotional distress and pain and suffering) costs of the dog bite.
- Negotiate a favorable insurance settlement and take the liable party or parties to court if necessary.
Mickey Fine is a Bakersfield dog bite lawyer who has more than 25 years of experience helping victims and families recover fair compensation. For a free, no-obligation consultation about your legal rights, please call (661) 333-3333 today.