A great number of dog bites happen every year around the world. Some of them can turn out to be fatal. It is very important to offer immediate medical help in case of dog bites. It is reported that children and postal workers are more prone to dog bites than others. The number of personal injury cases coming up because of dog bites is very high. However, many times some mistakes that the victims or their family members make can turn against them in the successful pursuit of a dog bite claim.
Most of the dog bites happen within the premises of the house of the dog owner. It is the family members, neighbors, or friends that usually face the dog bite. Certain breeds of dogs are very aggressive when compared to many other breeds, which are considered non-dangerous. In earlier days, the homeowner’s insurance covered the dog bite incidents. However in recent times, since there has been an increase in dog bite cases, the insurance policies stopped covering dog bite cases in them.
California law gives freedom to the dog bite victims to claim against the dog owner in case of a dog bite injury he/she suffered. In such situations, the victim must know the proper actions to take and things to do so that he can successfully recover the damages he suffered from the dog bite.
Here are some common mistakes one has to avoid in dog bite cases.
Avoiding or Delaying the Medical Treatment
Some people think that dog bites are not to be considered very seriously. In certain cases, they may hesitate to take the medical treatment after the dog bite, assuming that the dog does not have rabies. However, there might be some bacteria in the dog’s mouth, which can cause infections in the body of the victim. At the time when a victim of a dog bite seek medical attention, the wound of the bite will be covered, and this reduces the risk of future infections. At the same time, documentation of the medical help can be used later in proving the injury caused by the dog bite.
Failing to Report the Bite
It is very important to report the incident to the animal control authority or the police. In certain cases, the owner of the dog may persuade the victim not to do this assuring that he will pay for all the medical bills. However, he may change this later. Therefore, make sure that the bite is reported to the authorities soon after the incident. If the victim has notified the authority of the dog bite, a proper investigation can be made to determine who is liable in the dog bite case.
Speaking to the Insurance Company
You need to be very careful when you speak to the insurance adjusters after you suffered injuries from a dog bite. This is because they can use your statement against you in the trial of the case. They will try to reduce the amount of compensation that should be given to you. For this purpose, they will use your statements to prove that you are not worthy of receiving the compensation. Therefore, you have to be careful while making every statement to the insurance adjuster.
Missing the Photographs of the Injuries
It is very important to take pictures of the injury before it is healed. By the time, the case reaches the court for trial it might heal completely and this will prevent the jury and the insurance adjuster from understanding the true effect of the dog bite. The medical records alone may not show the impact of the bite on you. Hence, if you have taken pictures of the wound at the time of the bite and during the process of healing, they can speak well about the pain and suffering you went through.
Not Seeking Legal Assistance
Many of the dog bite victims try to settle the claim on their own. They feel that it is not important to seek the help of an attorney to represent them in the case. This can turn out to be the greatest mistake you can make in the dog bite case. The insurance companies will try their best to settle the dog bite claim for a lesser compensation or for an amount much lower than the original amount the victim is deserved to receive. In such a case, a dog bite attorney can help you to know the right amount of compensation you are worthy of receiving.
Also, it will be difficult for one to negotiate with the trained negotiators on the other side. A dog bite attorney can prove to be useful even at this instance. He will have previous experience in doing such negotiations and thus can help you to have a successful negotiation without giving in to the unfair demands of the insurance company. In case if the insurance company does not accept a fair settlement, the dog bite attorney can represent you in the court.
Keep these things in mind so that you do not make such mistakes if ever you need to make a dog bite claim.