Dog Bites: Ten Important Steps To Compensation


You're out taking a walk and suddenly there's a dog running down the sidewalk toward you, with the owner giving chase. The dog abruptly lunges at you and takes a bite out of your ankle. Luckily, the owner arrives and takes control of the dog before further damage is done. The dog was vaccinated from rabies and after some stitches, you are relived that it was not worse. But this incident has left you several hundred dollars short, in pain, and now afraid to go for a walk. You feel that the dog's owner should compensate you for your injuries, but how should you proceed? Here are 10 tips for handling dog bite personal injury claims.

  1. Seek immediate medical attention and keep up with all charges related to the injury. Even if the bite wasn't deep, dog bites can cause infections, especially to those with compromised immune systems.
  2. Get the name and contact information for the owner. If the owner is uncooperative or tries to leave, call the police and make sure a report is filed.
  3. Contact animal control to inform them of the bite. Many states use a "one bite free" rule, which means that legal action by the animal control agency will take place after the second incident. It's important that the bite, no matter how minor, is documented.
  4. Get a photo of the dog if possible. You may be able to take it while the owner walks the dog, or in the owner's yard.
  5. The owner could be liable for paying not just your medical related expenses, but lost wages from work, lost or damaged property (broken eyeglasses for example), and pain and suffering.
  6. Dog bite claims will likely be covered under the dog owner's homeowners or renters insurance company.
  7. Do not give a recorded statement to the dog owner's insurance company.
  8. The insurance company will often offer you a settlement right away, but accepting too quick and without an attorney's advice could mean missing out on future compensation, such as reconstructive surgery at a later date. There are statutes of limitations, but your attorney will be abreast of those restrictions.
  9. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, so no upfront money is needed.
  10. Trust your attorney to evaluate any settlement that is offered to ensure that you will be adequately compensated for your injuries.

The decision on settling or going to trial should be carefully considered and your attorney, one like Lerner, Piermont & Riverol, P.A. will be able to advise you on the best route to take.


9 April 2015

Accident Victims Must Stick Together

When I was injured in a slip and fall accident a few years ago, my family and friends had a hard time relating to the things I was going through. While some people thought that my decision to file a lawsuit was frivolous, others were under the impression that I would walk away as a millionaire. Their lack of personal experience with this type of legal problem left me feeling alone during one of the most difficult times in my life. That is why I decided to start this blog so that accident victims from all over would have somewhere to come to get the information and support that they need. I truly hope that this page can be that place for you.