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Dog attacks can leave victims with life-threatening injuries. With dog ownership on the rise, the number of dog attacks will increase as well. According to a Gallup poll, approximately 44 percent of Americans own a dog.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 4.5 million dog bites happen every year in America, and about 20 percent of those bites become infected.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog attack, contact a Medford dog bite lawyer for an initial consultation to have your case evaluated. A qualified personal injury lawyer can help you hold the at-fault party accountable.
Injuries and Illnesses
While some dog attacks might be harmless, the unfortunate reality is that some attacks can lead to serious injuries, diseases, and even wrongful death. Some injuries that result from dog attacks include:
- Emotional upset – anxiety, nervousness, PTSD
- Broken bones
The first step to take before contacting an attorney is obtaining emergency medical care. A victim’s contact with medical professionals is not only important for health reasons, but it also sets the foundation for a case.
Calling 911, requesting an ambulance, visiting an emergency room, or making an appointment with a family doctor can be relevant to an insurance company’s evaluation of a claim. While some claims will have to be paid from the dog’s owner, other claims may be covered by certain insurance policies, depending on the circumstances.
Speak with an attorney before reaching out to any insurance company. Some insurance adjusters will request that the victim provide a statement, either written or oral, take a settlement that is far below what the claim is actually worth, or deny a victim’s claim altogether.
In these circumstances, working with a Medford dog bite lawyer to prepare a case can mean the difference between gaining financial compensation and receiving nothing at all.
Every dog bite is different. While some wounds heal on their own, other injuries take much more medical attention to resolve. Some types of treatment that might be involved in a dog bite case include:
- Injections (tetanus and rabies prophylaxis)
- Pain management
- Plastic surgery
Obtaining a Settlement
Before obtaining a settlement, a Medford dog bite lawyer will have to investigate the claim. This typically involves obtaining photographs, taking statements, researching the dog’s veterinary history, examining insurance coverage information, taking depositions, sending interrogatories, or preparing a case for trial, if the case does not settle beforehand.
A case can be resolved in a number of ways. A case might be settled outright by the insurance company. This requires skillful negotiation and advocacy. A case might be resolved by arbitration, where the parties agree to present their arguments to an unbiased arbitrator, who will award a sum of money (or nothing), depending on the hearing.
A case may be mediated, where the parties discuss their positions and resolve the case through the guidance of a non-party mediator. In some circumstances, usually if a claim is denied, a case will be tried by a jury. The jury renders the verdict, determining whether the victim is entitled to any financial compensation.
Contact a Medford Dog Bite Attorney Today
Personal injury cases in New Jersey must be filed within the applicable statute of limitations. Failure to file a case within the applicable Statute of Limitations will bar you from making any recovery. Every case is unique and the applicable statute of limitations will depend on the facts of the case.
Accordingly, please contact an attorney today so they can help analyze the statute of limitations that applies to your case and help protect your rights.
If you or a family member has been bitten by a dog, reach out to a Medford dog bite lawyer to learn about how you can seek to obtain justice.