A dog bite is a traumatic ordeal that gives the victim a painful experience. Tragically, it causes fatal to catastrophic injuries to the victim, including internal injuries, compound fractures, disfigurement, permanent disabilities, rabies, and lifelong psychological injuries.
These injuries require hospitalization and long-term treatment that may cover the ambulance transportation, medication, and hospitalization charges. Paying all such bills is eventually a financial hit to any victim.
Mostly, victims cover such expenses from the dog owners. However, proving the extent of the damage to a dog owner is not easy. There are many hurdles on the way where a dog owner puts several accusations on the victim to prove guilty.
So, hiring a law attorney is a smart decision. It eventually helps the victim to gain a fair settlement. For example, a dog bite lawyer in Tampa assists the victims in recovering the full amount of compensatory damages.
Potential Accusations a Dog Owner Can Employ on a Victim
The potential accusations dog owners can employ on a victim in a dog bit case includes the following.
- Provoking Dog: If a dog bite is caused due to aggressive behavior of the individual, a dog owner can use the dog-provoking defense against the victim. For such defenses, a dog owner is not liable to pay compensation to the injured victim.
- Trespassing: If a dog bites an individual in the non-permitted areas, an injured victim is not permitted to get any claims.
- Negligence of the Victim: Disregarding the warnings provided by the dog owner before the dog bites acts as a potential accusation against the injured victim. The negligence of the victim eliminates the chances of getting compensation from the dog owner.
Compensation Victim Receives After a Dog Bite Incident
- Emergency Medical Care: When a dog bites a victim, emergency medical care includes medical care, hospital services, medication bills, consultation charges, and more. A victim can claim and get all the medical compensation from the dog owner.
- Lost Wages: If a victim cannot do work after a dog bite, it can be a financial blow to any victim’s income. A victim is liable to get the lost wages for those times.
- Property Damages: A dog attack results in property damage that includes purses being ripped, eyeglasses being broken, and more. Mostly the victim doesn’t bother with the property damage that happened during a dog bite attack. Moreover, a victim is entitled to compensation for such property damage.
- Psychiatric Trauma: A dog attack leaves victims scared of pets throughout life. The emotional distress and psychiatric trauma, in addition to the physical pain, impact the victim’s emotional well-being. For such suffering, a victim needs psychiatric assessment from health experts. The health experts suggest therapies to get back to normal. A victim is liable for such compensation.
- Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are awarded to the victims if a dog bites due to the dog owner’s negligence. It is strictly meant to punish the dog owner for the dog attack. For example, a dog owner has to pay punitive damages for leaving the gate open and letting a dog roam outside without a leash, keeping an aggressive dog breed, and more.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Dog Bite Case?
The settlement process depends on various factors to fix a dog bite lawsuit. Here are a few factors that demonstrate how long it takes to settle a dog bite claim.
- Type and Extent of Injuries: Dog bites cause fatal to severe injuries to the victim. The dog’s jaws are powerful and can crush and tear the muscles. Depending upon the severity of the injuries, it takes time to heal severe injuries. Collecting all the medical bills and doctors’ progenesis is proof to represent the situation in court. So, it takes longer to get the claims.
- Medical Care: The extent of the medical care, including hospital visits, emergency services, prescriptions, surgeries, and follow-up appointments, takes several months to heal fully. As a result, it takes longer to get the claims; in most cases, victims miss out on most of the expenses.
- Liability Defendant holds: Proving liability depends upon certain factors. Verifying that the defendant was aware of the dog’s viciousness and that the dog bite happened due to the dog owner’s negligence is enough to succeed in a dog bite case.
- Dog History: If a dog has a history of biting the victim, it can help a victim prove the dog owner guilty. It acts as a dog owner’s negligence and helps the victim get the deserved compensation.
- Insurance Coverage: Some insurance policies compensate the victims in the dog bite case. So, determining whether the insurance policy covers the dog bite case or not holds an integral part in getting the compensation.
What Should a Victim Do Immediately After a Dog Bite Incident?
A dog attack may create panic, but be calm and seek medical aid first. Apart from this, here are a few things a victim must do immediately after the incident.
Seek Medical Attention
Getting medical aid is a must for any victim. The health professionals examine the victim for injuries. A wound that appears fine initially can be a serious infection in the later stages. So, it is advised to get medical assistance from health professionals to avoid further health risks.
Identify Dog Owner
Obtain the necessary information about the dog owner’s name and address soon after the attack. It can help the victim make a further move in the dog bite case.
Gather All Details
Soon after the dog bite, a victim must write down every vital detail like how long the attack continued, who saw the attack, and more. Taking the pictures of the physical injuries and bloody clothes work as powerful evidence in claiming the case.
File a Police Report
File a police report against the dog owner as soon as the incident happens. Filing a police report after a dog attack is an essential legal document. In addition, victims can showcase the police report as evidence for claiming the case.
Call Your Attorney
Calling a law attorney is a smart decision. The legal professionals analyze the ins and outs of the case and guide the victims with the right advice to obtain maximum compensation. In addition, an attorney does everything to protect the victims’ legal rights.
How Can an Attorney Help You in a Dog Bite Case?
Mostly, dog bite claims are handled outside the court. However, if the dog owner or the insurance company refuses to pay the claims, then hiring a law attorney for a dog bite case is the best decision. The legal professionals work hard to get justice for the victims. Here is how an attorney helps the victims in the dog bite case to get the maximum compensation.
Reviews Dog Bite Incident
The legal professional reviews the dog bite incident by recreating the scene. It helps the lawyers determine the possible legal options for the victims; by determining the possible viability of the claims, a lawyer crafts the best strategies for succeeding in the case and presents the compensations that a victim deserves.
Investigate the Incident
The lawyers investigated the incident and collected the necessary information for the case. Subsequently, the lawyers carry out the paperwork on the victim’s behalf to complete the case procedure. Eventually, legal professionals take the evidence along to prove the dog owner guilty.
Communicate with the Dog Owner
The attorney takes the responsibility off the shoulder to talk to the dog owner to take out the necessary information for the case. Then, the lawyer communicates with the dog owner and fairly addresses the settlement damages.
Guides Victim for Further Process
Sometimes, dog owners blame the victim for provoking the dog even after giving the warnings. To overcome these defenses, the attorney guides the victims on every aspect so that it does not affect the claim settlement.
Most of the time, the victims are eligible for insurance coverage in the dog bite case. In that case, the law attorney handles all the negotiations with the dog owner and the insurance companies to compensate damages fairly to the victims.
Take the Case to Trial
Sometimes, dog owners disagree with the law attorneys to provide the settlement amounts. For such cases, the law attorney takes the case to trial and fights on the victim’s behalf for maximum financial recoveries.
If you have been a victim of a dog bite, then don’t hesitate to seek assistance from dog bite lawyers. First, the legal experts analyze the case’s facts and circumstances to guide victims with the right solutions. Then, depending on the case outcomes, a legal professional protects the victim’s legal rights and ensures that a victim is compensated fairly for the claims. Contact the Coleman Law Group for a free case evaluation!