If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you have the right to file a personal injury claim to recover damages for your medical bills, other expenses, and the pain you’ve been through during the injury. Contacting a personal injury lawyer is one of the first things you can do because these professionals will help you navigate the legal proceedings without difficulty.
Filing a dog bite claim can be a complicated process because insurance companies tend to fight to give you as little money as possible. That’s why, when you’ve suffered from a dog bite, there are certain things you should do to strengthen your claim. Keep reading to find out more.
Gather All Essential Information and Evidence
During the first few minutes after a dog bite, make sure to take a lot of pictures and videos that show what happened. If you put off doing this, it may be difficult to recreate and document the situation later.
Get clear pictures of your injuries, surroundings, and even the dog that bit you. All of these are important pieces of evidence that strengthen your claim, making it hard for insurance companies to deny your injuries. If possible, get the dog owner’s information so that it’s easy to contact them later.
Get Medical Treatment Immediately
It’s important to get medical treatment immediately after a dog bite because a doctor’s professional opinion could greatly sway the court’s decision in your favor. Some bites don’t hurt, swell, or bruise until the second or third day, so it’s essential to let a doctor check your injuries.
Out of the 800,000 dog bites that occur annually, over 334,000 are severe enough to warrant hospitalization. Not only is seeking medical treatment helpful for your case, but it’s best to ensure you’re getting your wounds treated properly.
Don’t Withhold Information from Your Doctor
Any good personal injury lawyer will tell you not to withhold information from your doctor. It’s essential to tell them exactly what happened, even if doing so might make it seem like it’s your fault. If you were the first to reach out to a dog to pet it, let your doctor know. Complete honesty now is better than being called out in court during the presentation of evidence.
Notify the Dog Owner Immediately
It’s important to notify the dog owner immediately if you’ve suffered a bite from their pet. Even if you’re close friends with the owner, you must confront them immediately about the situation. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should be aggressive. Just let them know what happened and get their contact information if you don’t have it yet. If possible, gather the contact information of any potential witnesses, so you have other people supporting your claim.
Don’t Give the Insurance Company Too Much Information
When you’re filing a claim with the dog owner’s insurance company, make sure to give as little information as possible. Insurance companies often ask victims to recount what happened, but it’s important to know that you have the right to refuse to divulge the details. The company could use inconsistent information to its advantage and jeopardize your dog bite claim in court.
If you’ve suffered from a dog bite, it’s important to remember these tips so that your claim is as strong as possible in court. Contact a personal injury lawyer immediately so that they can guide you through the legal process and reduce the stress you might feel.
If you need a personal injury lawyer in Birmingham, AL, to help your case, contact our team at Swiney & Bellenger. We can help you fight for damages that include medical bills, lost income, future medical treatment, pain, and emotional trauma.