Avoid These 6 Mistakes After a Dog Bite
Being bitten or attacked by a dog can be terrifying, especially when the attack happens to a child. According to the CDC, about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year and 800,000 require medical attention. A dog bite or attack can be serious, potentially leading to broken bones, disfigurement, extreme pain, and even disability or death. If you or a child has suffered a dog bite by someone else’s dog, make sure you avoid these mistakes.
#1. Failing to seek medical attention right away
It’s important to seek medical attention immediately after a dog bite, especially if the bite broke the skin. An animal bite can lead to a serious infection or complications that may not be apparent for hours or even days. Immediate medical care can minimize the risk of complications, treat the wounds, and document the severity of your injuries. This will be important to help your Los Angeles dog bite attorney prove your claim.
#2. Failing to notify animal control and the police
After a dog bite, immediately contact the authorities to document what happened and ensure the dog is quarantined for a mandatory rabies observation period. Notifying animal control is also important as an investigation into the attack will be conducted by a professional to establish liability of the dog owner. Reporting the bite to the authorities will protect you if the dog owner refuses to admit liability.
#3. Failing to take pictures of your injuries
It can be hard to prove the extent of your injuries to a jury or insurance adjuster after your wounds have healed, especially if there is minimal scarring. Pictures of your initial injuries and a series of photos showing the healing process can immediately convey the severity of your injuries and the pain you suffered.
#4. Giving a statement to the insurance adjuster
While you will need to work with the insurance company to seek a fair settlement amount, this is best done by an experienced injury attorney to avoid pitfalls. Insurance adjusters will look for any reason to minimize or deny your claim and may ask questions designed to elicit answers to minimize your claim through comparative negligence laws. Always consult with an attorney before you speak with the insurance company.
#5. Being dishonest with your doctor or authorities
Your credibility will be important in proving your case and seeking the compensation you deserve. Insurance adjusters often try to minimize a claim by trying to blame the victim instead of the dog owner. It’s essential that your statements about the incident be as truthful as possible. If you don’t remember a detail, don’t guess; just say you don’t remember. Failing to tell your doctor everything can even be as damaging to your case as exaggerating your injuries.
#6. Failing to hire a personal injury lawyer
According to a recent insurance industry study, people who are represented by a personal injury lawyer settle claims for an average of 3.5 times more than people who do not have legal counsel. The insurance company will do its best to limit your claim and your initial settlement offer is unlikely to account for your pain, lost wages, disfigurement, and other losses aside from immediate medical expenses.
A dog bite can lead to serious or permanent injuries, both mental and physical, in addition to significant medical expenses and lost wages. A dog bite injury lawyer in Los Angeles will serve as your advocate throughout the process to protect your best interests and seek maximum compensation for your injuries.
Dog owners in California are responsible for the harm their animals cause and you have the right to compensation. If you or someone you love has been hurt by someone else’s dog, contact the Law Office of Tawni Takagi today for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer.