Have You or Your Child Been Bitten by a Dog?
While the great majority of dogs are lovable and friendly companions, there are certainly exceptions to this rule. In fact, hundreds of thousands of dog bite victims are admitted to emergency rooms each year. You need a New Jersey dog bite attorney who will do whatever it takes to insure that you are compensated for you or your family member’s injuries.
Dog owners have a legal duty to protect the public from their pets, especially in cases where the animal has a history of aggressive or hostile behavior. When owners fail to take this responsibility seriously, a New Jersey dog bite lawyer at Gebhardt & Kiefer, P.C. stands ready to help injury victims. Whether your neighbor failed to properly fence in his or her pet and caused you or your family member to sustain a serious wound, or you suffer injury while intervening during an animal attack at a dog park, our skilled attorneys can provide you with the legal advice and guidance you need to secure compensation for your injury.
We can help if you suffer any type of injury from a dangerous animal, including but not limited to the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Fatal bites
- Fractured bones
- Hip displacement surgery
- Puncture wounds
- Rabies vaccination reactions
- Permanent scarring
What You Can Do – Now
Ideally, after a dog bite, you should seek medical care for the injuries and report the event to a local animal control agency or the police. Reporting the dog is especially important if the dog that bit you was a stray, as the animal control agency will need to find the dog and pick it up to prevent additional dog bite injuries.
After seeking medical care and making the report, be sure to get copies of your records and the written report. These documents will be needed when you talk with a New Jersey personal injury lawyer. Other items that may prove helpful in building your claim are photographs of the injuries and receipts from medical bills and prescriptions. Contact us if you have any questions about what to do.
After the Attack
The steps you take immediately following an attack will help protect your rights. Here are a few steps to take right away:
- Obtain the dog owner’s name, address and phone numbers. You should also collect information from anyone who may have witnessed the attack.
- Wash your wounds with soap and lots of water. Cover your wounds with a clean bandage and cloth and go to the hospital that same day.
- Report the dog attack to the New Jersey animal control agency in your community.
- Keep records of all of your expenses including your medical bills and lost wages.
- Take photos of your injuries as they heal.
- Research your legal options and pursue guidance from a New Jersey personal injury lawyer who has handled cases similar to yours.
How Does Insurance Come Into Play in a Dog Bite Case?
You may be wondering how insurance plays a role in dog bite cases. Millions of people are bitten by dogs each year, and many claims (and lawsuits) are filed on behalf of the people who are injured. Many homeowner policies will cover the costs associated with the dog bites. Industry statistics indicate that as many as one-third of all homeowner liability claims are for injuries sustained as the result of dog bites.
What does this mean for you? On the plus side, it usually means the presence of an available source of funds to compensate you for your injury. But it also means that at one point or another an insurance adjuster will be involved in the case. Negotiating with insurance companies is neither easy, nor should it be undertaken on your own. Insurance companies are interested in their bottom line, and for them, negotiating on your case is a “zero-sum” game. This means that for every dollar they pay you, it is one less dollar on their bottom line. The goal of the insurance company will always be to minimize your injuries and your losses, and to pay you the absolute minimum they can get away with.
In order to combat the rigid posture of the insurers, your best interests are served by having an experienced attorney by your side, one who knows how to negotiate with insurance companies; who means business; who is experienced and knowledgeable; and who is not afraid to proceed to trial when necessary in order to protect your interests.
The insurance company wants to settle your case as soon as possible – and for as little money as possible. Our personal injury attorneys know how to protect you from the insurance companies and to present your claim in the best way possible to ensure your rights are protected and that you get the maximum compensation available. Call 908-735-5161 to schedule a free consultation, or fill out the contact form on this site. Our firm serves clients throughout central and northwestern New Jersey.