Dana Point Dog Bite Attorneys
Dana Point Dog Bite Attorneys
Dogs are man’s best friend, but even this age-old relationship can turn sour. When their owners fail to take simple precautions or follow local laws, that loveable companion can turn your life upside down. Dog bites are more common than you may think, and these unexpected attacks can have devastating consequences for the victims. If you were hurt due to someone else’s negligence, our Dana Point dog bite attorneys can help you fight for a fair settlement. We have decades of combined experience handling personal injury claims. During this time, we’ve helped our clients obtain millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts. Our legal team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; just pick up the phone and dial 1-800-GO-HARRIS to discuss your case with one of our lawyers.
What Factors Could Affect the Value of My Dog Bite Claim?
It would be convenient if estimating the value of a claim was as simple as punching a few numbers into an app and waiting for the results to appear on your screen. However, there are often more factors at play than just the digits printed on your medical bills. From your own liability to the intangible effects of your injuries, you may need to consider many different variables to ensure your estimated settlement accounts for all recoverable losses. At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. we can assist you with your case by conducting an in-depth investigation and reviewing all available evidence to determine which damages may be available in your dog bite case. Below are a few factors our legal team may consider:
- Medical Care: Animal attacks can be vicious, leaving victims disabled, disfigured, and fighting for their lives. Treating these injuries can cost a small fortune, and victims are often strapped with long-term medical expenses. As such, the severity of your injuries will have a major influence on the potential recovery.
- Lost Wages: If you weren’t able to work because of your injuries, such lost wages may be recoverable as part of your claim. In the event that your injuries will prevent you from returning to the same line of work you were doing prior to the attack and/or you will not be able to adapt to a different job, you may also be entitled to compensation for loss of future wages and diminished earning capacity.
- Other Expenses: If you had to fork out for alternative transportation or hire someone to take care of your children while you were recovering, these expenses may be factored into the potential recovery. You should keep any receipts or invoices associated with such costs and share these financial documents with your lawyer during your initial consultation.
- Liability: Whether you played a role in inciting the attack or your own negligence caused your injuries to worsen, your financial award may be reduced to reflect your degree of liability. For instance, if your healthcare provider instructed you to take time off work to rest so that your injuries can heal, but you returned to work immediately, the insurance company may assert that you failed to take sufficient steps to mitigate damages. Alternatively, if the insurer is able to show that you intentionally provoked the dog, your financial award may be reduced.
How Can I Protect My Claim?
With your financial future riding on the outcome of your dog bite claim, the last thing you want to do is hurt your chances of obtaining a financial award. The days following a serious accident are a legal minefield. Not only will you have to make sure that you are attending follow-ups, carrying out your doctor’s orders, and compiling the necessary evidence to support your claim, but your actions will also be put under the microscope as rival parties dig deep for any reason to reduce or deny your claim. Often, all it takes is one mistake to bring your case crashing down. Below are a few common errors you should avoid until your case is resolved:
- Discussing Your Claim Online: Friends and family may be badgering you with questions about the accident. Whether it’s to keep them informed, reach out for support, or just put an end to the relentless notifications on social media, you may be tempted to publish a post detailing the events of that fateful day. Don’t hit “post”. There’s a high chance that it’s not just your loved ones eagerly awaiting an update—the insurance company may be screening your social media feeds, too. Any pictures, posts, or comments you publish could be used as evidence to challenge your case. For instance, even a seemingly harmless image of you and your family out and about could give opposing parties ammunition to assert that you ignored your doctor’s orders to rest or that you are exaggerating the extent of your injuries. These disputes could lead to delays, reductions to your financial award, or even the denial of your claim.
- Giving the Insurance Company a Recorded Statement: Insurers have many different strategies for reducing or denying claims. One tactic may involve contacting you to request a statement. On the surface, this seems like an innocent request—after all, they will assure you that they “just want the facts”. However, these interviews can be thinly veiled interrogations set up to coerce claimants into making statements that contradict other evidence in their cases. Rather than risk saying something that may harm your claim, you should let your attorney handle all dialogue with the insurer instead.
- Ignoring Your Doctor’s Instructions: Getting a diagnosis is just one part of your recovery; you will also need to follow your doctors’ advice and orders. For instance, if your healthcare provider instructs you to complete specific exercises every day, but you don’t follow through on these instructions, you may run into trouble when you file your claim. In this scenario, the insurance company may argue that you failed in your duty to mitigate damages because your own negligence caused your condition to worsen. As a result, your financial award may be reduced to reflect your degree of liability.
Speak to a Dog Bite Attorney in Dana Point Today
When dog bites happen, our lawyers are here to help represent your best interests. Typically, we handle dog bite cases on a contingency-fee basis. That means you don’t pay attorneys’ fees unless your claim is successful. Contact us today at 1-800-GO-HARRIS or use our Contact Form to schedule a free initial consultation.