How to Negotiate a Dog Bite Injury Claim
Dog bites are among the leading causes of personal injuries after car accidents, slips, and falls. They can cause serious injuries, disfigurement, and even death in extreme situations. Dog owners are obligated by the law to take full responsibility for their dog's actions, and in the event of a bite, the owner is obliged to compensate the victim.
In case you or your loved one have sustained injuries due to a dog bite, here is how you can successfully negotiate an injury claim.
1. Seek medical assistance
If bitten by a dog, it is wise to seek immediate medical attention regardless of the bite's nature. Non-vaccinated dogs might transmit the rabies virus, which is fatal to human beings if not treated early enough. It is still prudent to visit a doctor, even if the dog is vaccinated, to avoid the wound infection.
Additionally, you are obligated by the law to seek medical attention and mitigate any further infections and damages related to the bite, failure to which you risk losing your right to compensation.
2. Report the case to the police
After seeking medical attention, you should file a report with the local law enforcers as soon as possible. You are not seeking to get the dog owner arrested, but police records will come in handy during the negotiations for a claim.
Remember to be clear and precise in your police statement as you describe the events that led to the accident. Your story should be consistent throughout the entire pursuit of a claim.
3. Get an attorney
Complex constitutional statutes govern personal injury claims. Having an experienced dog bite attorney who understands the law gives you an upper hand in negotiations, not to mention that lawyers are naturally good negotiators. Furthermore, if your case progresses to court, your attorney will handle the complicated court procedures for you, hence the need to pick your lawyer wisely.
4. Prepare adequately
Negotiation for a personal injury settlement takes a long time, and the defense will try their best to discredit your case. Therefore, it pays to be prepared with enough evidence. In case you made a call to 911, you can ask for public records from the dispatchers and medical emergency team that reacted to the incident. You want to put these records together with your police statement as well as evidence from law enforcement present at the scene.
You should also present medical records from your doctor detailing all the physical harm and medical expenses incurred. This is also the best time to compile all incidental costs, such as lost wages and non-economic challenges such as pain and suffering.
5. Understand your claim
When negotiating for a dog injury personal claim, it pays to understand the category in which your request falls, either general damages or special damages.
General damages are non-economic effects that arise from the bite, such as pain, emotional distress, and have no objective measurements. On the other hand, special damages can be measured and include all out-of-pocket expenses such as lost wages and medical bills.
Dog bite injuries can cause emotional distress and trauma to the victims. Despite its complexity, personal injury claims allow dog bite victims to get justice through compensation. Having an attorney will help you get the deserved compensation for your suffering.
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