Do You Need an Attorney After Experiencing a Dog Bite?
Dog bites might not seem like a serious problem – most people think of dogs as cute, cuddly, and well-natured. But when a dog attacks and bites you, everything can change. A single dog bite can be a vicious attack that leaves you with lasting damage, from physical scars to emotional trauma. Even worse, a dog bite could permanently disfigure you. But what can you do about these damages once a dog has attacked you?
Dog bites are far more common than you might expect. Every day, 1,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency room because of a dog bite. Annually, approximately 9,500 people are hospitalized because of dog bite injuries. This means there are many people who are left facing high medical costs, serious injuries, and other lasting effects after a dog bite.
Many people don’t realize it, but you can hire an attorney. There are attorneys who specialize in injuries like dog bites. And they can help you hold the dog’s owner responsible, collect damages for your injuries, and get the closure you need.
Here are a few ways an attorney may be able to help you after you’ve received a dog bite.
Most Dog Bite Victims Are Never Compensated for Their Injuries
Although dog bites are relatively common, few people actually get any kind of compensation for these injuries. Less than one percent of dog bite victims are compensated – even though at least 4.7 million dog bites happen each year.
Why does this happen? Many dog bites go unreported, and as a result, there is no compensation for the injuries. In some cases, the person who is attacked doesn’t want to cause problems with the dog’s owner. In others, the dog owner doesn’t want to file an insurance claim. Some people even think that their dog bite isn’t worth any kind of compensation.
However, hiring an attorney can help you get compensation for your injuries and losses. An attorney can ensure your dog bite not only gets rewards, but that the dog owner is also confronted. And this can start the process of getting your compensation.
Hiring an Attorney Doesn’t Mean You’re Suing the Dog’s Owners
If you’re friends with the person whose dog bit you, you’re probably hesitant to pursue any kind of legal action. Contacting an attorney and pursuing a legal case might strain your relationship, and it could be difficult on the dog’s owner. However, working with an attorney to resolve your dog bite case doesn’t mean you have to sue people you’re close with.
In fact, hiring an attorney doesn’t even mean you’re suing anyone at all. 98 percent of all bodily injury cases, like dog bite cases, are settled out of court. There’s no need to go to court or have a trial, as these cases can be handled quickly and efficiently as insurance claims.
When you hire a lawyer to handle your dog bite, there’s no reason to worry about the people involved. Your lawyer won’t confront the dog’s owners or try to make them feel guilty; they won’t harass them or threaten them. Attorneys handle delicate, complex situations all the time, and they will only take the steps that are necessary to ensure your dog bite is handled properly.
Additionally, when an attorney takes on a dog bite case, they deal with an insurance company – not the dog’s owners. The individuals whose dog bit you likely have homeowner’s insurance, and that’s who your attorney will be in contact with. The attorney will discuss the case or claim with the insurance company, negotiate with them, and ensure a conclusion is reached.
Your Attorney Will Handle the Hard Work of Your Case
If you aren’t sure what steps to take after you’ve been bitten by a dog, you aren’t alone. Few people know what to do beyond seeking medical help. And once you’ve gotten medical help, you’re left to heal – often with expensive medical bills and emotional trauma from the attack.
That’s where an attorney can be a huge help. If you contact a dog bite attorney, you’ll be able to heal without worry. You won’t need to take any further steps, as your legal representative will handle all of the hard work for you.
After a consultation, your attorney will get to work with the dog owner’s insurance company. They will handle all of the challenges that come with trying to file a claim, negotiate, and even communicate with a large insurer. Your attorney will tackle tasks like:
- Collecting and sending evidence for your case for the insurance company.
- Providing the details of the attack and bite.
- Gathering and assessing your medical bills and other damages or costs.
- Getting information about the dog’s behavior and any previous aggression.
- Providing you with regular updates about the case.
All of this work can help you recover in peace, without worrying about factors like bills and losses. Your attorney will take on the work of securing the damages you deserve.
A Dog Bite Attorney Doesn’t Require Payment Up Front
One concern that many people have when considering hiring a lawyer is the cost. An attorney can be expensive, and it can take hours of work to build your case. But fortunately, you don’t have to worry about paying your attorney anything in a dog bite case.
The types of lawyers who typically handle dog bites work on a contingency basis. This means that your attorney won’t ask you to pay any costs up front. Instead, their fee or earnings depend on whether or not they’re able to secure damages and compensation for you.
If your attorney doesn’t successfully get you any compensation, they won’t get paid. Only once you’ve reached a settlement does your lawyer get any money. Then, they’ll get paid through a percentage of your winnings.
This means you can hire an attorney for your dog bite without having to hand over any money. Your attorney won’t ask for any payments – instead, they’ll fight your case to ensure you both get paid via compensation from the bite.
An Attorney Will Be Your Personal Advocate
Most importantly, in a legal situation as emotionally fraught as a dog attack, you need a personal advocate on your side. You need someone who can fight for what you deserve to help you return to everyday life. While a dog bite can be debilitating, an experienced and professional advocate like an attorney can help fight for you.
When you hire an attorney, you’ll have someone on your team. You’ll have someone working on your behalf, working to get you what you deserve. No matter how complicated or difficult the situation might be, your attorney will ensure your dog bite is dealt with. And this can help you both in the form of compensation and emotional support.