Dogs are known to be man’s best friend, but they can also be unpredictable and dangerous. When a dog bites or attacks, it can result in serious injuries and emotional trauma. In such cases, it is important to seek dog bite compensation to cover the medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages incurred. However, seeking compensation can be a complex process, and there are several mistakes that people often make, which can harm their chances of receiving a fair settlement. The best step to take after suffering a dog bite injury is to contact a dog bite injury lawyer for expert advice. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when seeking dog bite compensation.
1. Failing to Seek Immediate Medical Attention
One of the most common mistakes people make after a dog bite is failing to seek medical attention immediately. Even if the injury appears minor, it is important to get a medical evaluation as soon as possible. Delaying treatment can not only worsen the injury but also harm the chances of receiving a fair dog bite settlement. Insurance companies may argue that the injury was not serious enough to require medical attention, reducing the compensation amount.
Common dog bite injuries include:
- Skin punctures and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Eye, head, neck, and face injuries
- Nerve and tissue damage
- Emotional trauma
The injuries vary greatly in severity and this is why it is so important to receive medical attention as soon as possible. This will further aid in dog bite claims and receiving proper compensation.
2. Not Reporting the Incident
Another mistake to avoid is not reporting the incident to the authorities or the dog’s owner. It is important to file a report with the local animal control agency or the police department, as this creates an official record of the incident. Failing to report the incident can weaken the credibility of the claim and make it harder to prove liability. In Indiana, all dog bites must be reported to the local health department in the area where the victim lives. Medical professionals are required by law to report any injuries they treat that are related to a dog bite within 72 hours.
3. Talking to Insurance Adjusters Without Legal Representation
Insurance companies are not in the business of paying out large settlements, and their adjusters are trained to minimize the amount of compensation paid out. Talking to them without legal representation can be a mistake. Dog attack attorneys can help protect your rights as a victim and ensure that your interests are represented in the negotiations. As a rule of thumb, avoid saying or providing any of the following unless instructed to do so by your attorney:
- Anything to indicate that the incident was your fault
- Downplaying your injuries
- Granting access to your medical records
4. Posting About the Incident on Social Media
In today’s digital age, it is easy to share information on social media. However, posting about the dog bite incident on social media can be a mistake. Insurance companies may use social media posts to argue that the injury was not serious or that the victim was partly to blame for the incident.
5. Settling Too Quickly
Finally, settling too quickly can be a mistake. You may be tempted to accept a quick settlement offered by the insurance company, but it may not cover the full extent of your damages. If you are still in the healing process, you may incur more medical expenses after you have accepted a settlement offer and will have to pay out of pocket. It is important to consult with an experienced dog bite attorney to evaluate the case and negotiate a fair settlement that covers all the damages.
At Crossen Law Firm, we have over 20 years of experience handling dog bite injury settlements. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a dog bite injury, we can help. Our team will protect your rights, investigate the event, help you obtain evidence to support your claim, and ensure you are awarded the fair settlement you deserve.
Contact us today or give us a call for a free consultation at (317) 401-8626.