Do you know the cost of the medical treatment for a dog attack? Many people underestimate how much it costs to recover from a dog bite, from medical costs to lost wages, without accounting for the non-economic costs, such as pain and suffering and PTSD. Therefore, if you have been attacked by a dog, consider consulting a dog bite attorney to maximize your settlement and get you back on track.
Most individuals do not know that dog bite attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means that the lawyer will be paid when you receive a settlement. The attorney will receive a percentage of the settlement amount. Although other fees, such as filing and investigation fees, may be incurred, you will not have to pay the attorney’s fees unless your attorney wins your case.
A local lawyer knows the laws that apply in dog bite cases. For example, some states hold the owners responsible no matter what, while others require that the dog have a history of violent behavior to blame the dog owner. These individuals will walk you through the process and tell you what you need to do to get your settlement. They will also evaluate your case and provide an expected settlement amount as well as any legal action that should or could be taken against the dog owner. In addition, because they know the laws, they can answer any questions you may have throughout the process.
Insurance companies will pay significantly lower settlements to dog bite victims who are not represented by legal counsel than they will pay those with lawyers. In fact, you may receive almost nothing from the insurance company if you do not hire legal help. Reputable lawyers are skilled negotiators, and they will take your documents and negotiate the highest settlement they can get from the insurance company. If they cannot negotiate a strong settlement, they have the ability to fight the insurance company in court.
If you bring a claim against a dog owner for an attack, you must be the prosecution. However, if you hire a lawyer, you do not have to confront the dog owner. You avoid causing strife between you and the owner because you don’t have to prove they are guilty, harass them or send them letters. You also avoid forcing them to euthanize their dogs. In addition, your permission is required to pursue alternative actions, such as forcing them to go into bankruptcy or foreclosing on their home, to pay your settlement. Typically, the dog owner’s insurance company will pay the claim.
Hiring an attorney ensures the legal process is followed and can maintain peace between you and the dog owner. Maintaining peace is especially important if the dog’s owner is your neighbor or a friend.
If you have been attacked by a dog, you need a personal advocate who will pursue a reasonable settlement you can use to pay any medical or other costs as you return to your life.