Everybody loves dogs, except for maybe the 4.5 million Americans that were bitten last year; and particularly the nearly one million of those victims who required medical attention. Every year, some 27,000 people require major reconstructive surgery for their dog bite injuries. If a dog has bitten you, these figures probably won’t comfort you. It does, however, indicate a very serious problem.
According to Consumer Reports, more than half of dog bites occur on the dog owner’s property. Whether or not the dog bite occurs on the dog owner’s property or at somebody else’s home or even in a public place, the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance generally provides coverage for the victim’s damages. Each year, in fact, one third of all homeowners’ insurance claims are related to dog bites.
Injuries Associated With Dog Bites
In addition to the emotional trauma caused by a dog attack, the physical injuries can be quite severe, particularly in children. Children not only sustain the most dog bites, they also receive more bites to the face and neck. Whenever there are serious bites on children or adults, the wounds can result in extensive scars and require expensive and painful reconstructive and plastic surgery.
Dog owners typically attempt to downplay your injuries or the temperament of their animal. They may beg you to not report the incident since most cities and counties require attacking animals to be quarantined or euthanized. The problem with unreported dog bites is that they usually happen again.
What You Should Do
If you or a family member has been attacked or bitten by a dog, you shouldn’t try to second-guess your legal options or resolve the case yourself. Don’t accept some low dollar amount offered by the dog owner or his or her insurance company.
As an experienced dog bite attorney, Menzer Law Firm can advise you on your best course of action. If your dog bite requires medical attention, the attending physician may be required to report the bite. Additionally, the dog owner’s insurance will at some point require verification of your injuries and documentation from the doctors as to the treatment they provided, how the wounds have healed, and whether surgery may be required in the future to reduce or remove the scarring.
We can help take care of these matters with little or no contact between you and with the dog owner if you prefer. We will work with their insurance company, the doctors, and you to come up with a fair settlement. If we need to go to court, we are prepared to do that as well.