A dog has bitten you or your loved one. This isn't the time to be oblivious and "let it go." It is the time to get assertive and defend your rights. It is imperative to keep in mind that dog bites can result in serious short term and long term consequences such loss of wages, medical bills, and physical scarring among other repercussions. Dog bite injuries are not just physical. Some victims recoil in fear for the remaining part of their lives if they come across a dog. This condition is similar to PTSD, and a professional psychologist may be needed to alleviate the symptoms.
Since dog attack settlements are usually paid by the insurance company, you shouldn't shy away from seeking the assistance of a personal injury attorney even if the dog owner is a neighbor or an acquaintance that you like or respect. However, there are several things that you should consider when deciding to pursue compensation.
In some states, the law subjects dog owners to strict liabilities. In such states, the fault of a dog owner need not be established. Thus, the victim will only have to demonstrate that he/she was legally in the premises where the attack occurred and that he/she did not do anything to provoke the dog. However, in other states, it might be necessary to establish the role of the dog owner in a dog attack. If you are in such as state, you will have to prove that the attack occurred due to the negligence of the dog owner.
Get a Dog Bite Attorney
Keep yourself out of trouble by reporting the dog attack if the owner seems unreliable. There are some animal control agencies that will allow you to file an anonymous complaint while others may ask for your information that can then be obtained by the dog owner. All in all, a quick call to an attorney will go a long way in helping you to determine if you have a strong case. If the attack happened while you were playing with the canine, then you may not have a good case. On the other hand, if the dog attacked without you engaging it, then your claim will most likely be actionable.
If you have been involved in a dog bite incident, it is wise to get a lawyer in order to get the stress of negotiations and decision making out of your way to recovery.