Should I Hire a Lawyer if a Dog Bites Me?
There are just over 4.5 million occurrences of a dog biting a human each year in the United States alone. Many of these are one-bite attacks. Some of those type of attacks do not require very serious medical attention, but the experience can remain emotionally traumatizing. Being bitten by an angry dog can be an exceptionally scary event. Victims of dog bites can attest to that fact. Of the 4.5 million dog bites each year, over 800,000 of them result in extremely serious medical conditions. A good number of those 800,000 serious attacks are from occurrences involving multiple dogs.
When one person injures another person, the at-fault person should pay to help the injured victim recover. That is the way the law works. Allowing your dog to bite someone triggers the same legal chain reaction. It is possible to recover for you dog bite injuries without the help of a dog bite lawyer. It is also possible to stich up your dog bite wound yourself rather than going to the doctor, but I would not recommend it. You go to the doctor because he is an expert. He can treat your injury much better than you are able to. The same rule applies to hiring a dog bite lawyer. You could work directly with the homeowners insurance company that covers the neighbor whose dog bit you, but you will be shortchanged. Insurance companies are extremely successful financial because they are experts at getting their insured to pay their premiums, and they are experts at paying out as little as possible for each claim. When you do not consult an experienced dog bite lawyer, you’re choosing to go up against an entire team of trained attorneys all on your own. You are outgunned, and out-manned. I do not recommend it.
There are cases when an attorney may not be entirely necessary. Perhaps you know the person who owns the dog that bit you. After all, more than half of all the dog attacks in the U.S each year occur on the property where the dog resides. If you are on the dog’s property, you probably know the dog’s owner. Some owners may be very responsible and caring. They may realize that the laws of this great country do not let them allow their dog to attack their neighbors. They may want to avoid any claims going to their homeowners insurance at all. They may believe that those claims could result in an increase of their insurance premiums. They also may not want to force you to wait to be reimbursed by their insurance company while your expensive medical bills mount up. If that is the case, they may offer to pay you an amount out of pocket to help make up for their mistake. If the dog bite was a minor one, this may be a great route to solve the problem. Intelligent parties can typically solve problems by freely negotiating. However, if the dog bite was serious, I do not recommend this course of action. It is impossible for you to know the extent of your injuries immediately following the attack. A Utah dog bite lawyer can provide you with a free consultation to go over your rights before you agree to settle your claim.
If you have any doubt at all about how to conduct your affairs after you have been bitten by a dog, your best bet is to contact an attorney. A little knowledge can go along way. There is little worse than being victimized by an angry dog and then being victimized again by an aggressive insurance company. Don’t let it happen to you.