Getting bitten by a dog is a frightening experience that can result in serious scarring and infection. If you or your child was attacked by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other damages. Our San Diego dog bite lawyers can assess your case for free and help you determine how best to proceed with your claim.
We have many years of experience representing dog bite victims, and we can ensure you’re treated fairly throughout the proceedings. Our lawyers have recovered more than $300,000,000 for clients. Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS today to schedule a free consultation.
What Can I Do to Strengthen My Dog Bite Claim?
If you were able to gather evidence at the scene, be sure to store it safely until your consultation with a dog bite attorney. Valuable evidence includes:
- The name and contact information of the dog owner;
- The address where the attack happened;
- Photos and videos of injuries and the dog that bit you; and
- The police and/or incident report.
After you’ve received medical care—which should be your top priority—take a few minutes to write out everything you remember about the attack: when and where it happened, a description of the dog, what you were doing just before the attack, the parts of your body that feel pain, etc. This will be the first entry in your “personal injury journal.” Moving forward, write daily entries in this journal about any symptoms, medication side effects, and how the injury is affecting your life.
The next step is to schedule a consultation with a San Diego dog bite attorney.
Below are just a few factors to consider when vetting a lawyer:
- Years of experience in personal injury law;
- Past outcomes in dog bite cases;
- Litigation experience;
- Honesty about both the strengths and weaknesses of your case; and
- Works on a contingency fee basis.
We meet all of the above criteria at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers. With a history of success in dog bite cases and an in-depth knowledge of the relevant case law and statutes, our attorneys can ensure you are well-represented through every stage of the proceedings.
Below are just a few of the strategies we may employ to strengthen your case:
- Filing subpoenas for evidence that’s being withheld;
- Bringing in expert witnesses to testify regarding your prognosis and lost income;
- Aggressively fighting for the highest possible settlement; and
- Taking your case to trial if a settlement cannot be reached.
After our initial consultation, there are steps you can take to protect your claim such as:
- Limit Your Use of Social Media: Be cautious about what you post online. It’s become a standard practice for insurance adjusters to scan the social media accounts of claimants to find evidence that can be used against them. They may even review the accounts of close friends and family. A single photo of you taken after the attack or a post about what happened might be enough to cause a dispute.
- Don’t Speak to the Insurance Adjuster: You and the insurance company have competing interests. While your goal is to recover the highest settlement possible, the insurance company has incentive to deny or at least minimize the value of your claim. It’s not unheard-of for a claimant’s statements to be taken out of context to challenge liability, causation, or the settlement calculations. To prevent this scenario, let your San Diego dog bite lawyer take over all correspondence with the insurance adjuster.
- Follow the Orders of Your Healthcare Team: Recovering from a serious injury can be a long, tedious, and expensive process. It’s not always easy to follow doctors’ orders. If you’re falling behind on essential bills, for example, you may be tempted to return to work sooner than recommended. If you’re typically an active person, you might be inclined to take on strenuous activities too early. By disobeying your doctor’s orders, though, you run the risk of facing a dispute regarding the mitigation of damages. The insurance company might say that your own negligence has resulted in higher healthcare costs and other damages, so you shouldn’t be compensated for 100 percent of your losses. Depending on the circumstances, even a partial reduction in a damages award could translate into a major financial loss. To avoid such a dispute, you should do everything in your power to facilitate the recovery process—from attending all doctor’s appointments to filling your prescriptions to resting for as long as necessary.
Discuss Your Claim with a San Diego Dog Bite Lawyer
Our attorneys can answer any questions you have about the case law, statutes, and proceedings related to dog bite claims. We have many years of experience representing dog bite victims and their families, so you can rest assured that your case will be in good hands. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-GO-HARRIS or sending us a message online.