If you are on private property, such as a residential home, and you are bitten by a dog, you need to consult with an attorney. There are many reasons why this is true. The following are among the most important ones.
The laws can vary greatly from one location to another
Laws regarding dogs and an owner’s responsibility for bites vary by state, and also at the county and municipal levels. There may not be specific leash laws for private property in the town you were bitten, but the dog owner may be held to a certain standard of accountability for their dog. Even if you were familiar with the laws in the place you live, you cannot assume the laws are the same where the bite took place. Always consult with a personal injury lawyer with experience in dog bites for the town or county you were bitten.
You may get a call from an insurance attorney
If you were bitten on someone’s property and they have homeowner’s insurance, there is a chance that the policy will cover a dog bite. If this is true and you are filing a claim, a claims adjuster for the insurance company will want to talk to you. The main thing to remember is not to sign anything until you have your attorney look at the paperwork. Claims adjusters are not working in your interest, but in the interest of the insurance company, so they are motivated to settle for less. You do not have to accept their offer. If you do receive an offer, neither accept nor turn it down, but simply state that you want your attorney to look at it before making a decision.
There are a variety of expenses you may incur from a dog bite
What you are entitled to after begin bitten by a dog will be dependent upon a number of things, especially the severity of the bite. If you miss work, you may be entitled to compensation for loss of income. There may be things you require that your medical insurance will not cover such as physical rehabilitation. In some jurisdictions, you may be entitled to money for pain and suffering.
If you have been attacked by a dog, you need to seek medical attention immediately. If possible, get the names of any witnesses. Do not assume you know what the laws are, nor assume that others do either. Remember not to sign any documents or endorse any checks offered to you until you a first speak to a personal injury attorney. Check it out.