Here at Johnson & Johnson Law helped several clients with very unfortunate dog bite cases recently. Unlike claims for car accidents where it’s well known that the other driver’s auto insurance will pay, there are unique complexities with dog bite cases.
Who pays my medical bills?
This is one of the first questions asked by our clients after they’ve been bitten. They’re in pain, require immediate attention, and need to get proper vaccinations, but who do they send their bills to? The dog certainly won’t be paying the bills.
Our office will locate coverage for the dog owner, usually through a rental or homeowners insurance policy. After opening the claim, we’ll document your injuries and scars and obtain opinions from local doctors about treatment to improve any scarring. We work with plastic surgeons in the area who can see you and provide quotes for future care. These quotes allow us to request higher dollar values for your case.
What is the process?
We don’t get paid until we win your case, so there is no risk in hiring us. You worry about healing and getting back to the life you enjoy. We’ll worry about the details and work need for a successful resolution.
What are the typical injuries your clients sustain from dog bites?
The obvious injuries clients suffer in dog bite cases are the physical – bite marks, abrasions, cuts, and the need to undergo vaccinations after getting bit. However, the injuries and damages that can’t be seen can be just as substantial. These can include fear, PTSD, loss of enjoyment of life, and other damages below the surface. We highly recommend that you seek care for both your mental and emotional injuries as well as your physical injuries.
Will the dog be put down if I make a claim?
That depends on the dog’s history. If the dog has already shown that it is dangerous, it is much more likely to be put down. This is so another adult, or worse a child, doesn’t receive similar injuries.
Filing a claim against the owner’s renters or homeowners policy won’t impact the dog being put down. Additionally, our office rarely, if ever, requests authorities to put the dog down.
Insurance is a service that individuals pay for to protect them in situations that are out of their control. A dog bite is an instance when the owner’s coverage should be put to use.
What steps should I take next?
If you’ve been bitten, immediately take photos of the injuries. If your wounds have already started to heal, still take pictures. This will document the full damage done. Please reach out to us today for a free consultation and case evaluation, including steps on what you should do next with your dog bite case.