Dogs offer unconditional love and companionship to their owners, so it’s not surprising that an estimated 37-47% of all households in the United States have a dog. Dogs truly enrich our lives in many ways; however, due to the sheer number of households owning dogs, there is an increased risk for dog bites and resulting injuries. While owners can take precautions to prevent their dogs from biting people, nothing can prevent bites 100% of the time. Sometimes even the friendliest of dogs can be frightened or act unpredictability.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, almost one third of all homeowner’s insurance claims in 2015 were from dog bites and other dog related injuries, resulting in costs of over $570 million. Costs for dog bite claims have also gone up significantly. The Institute indicates there has been a 67% increase in claim costs from 2003 to 2015 due to increased medical costs and size of settlements.
Surprisingly, most dog bites occur in the home of the owner. Many may not want to seek damages as they may be close to or related to the owner. However, most dog bite injuries are covered by homeowners or renters insurance policies, so it is always in your best interest to seek compensation for your injuries after an incident.
Things to do when you’ve been bitten by a dog:
- SEEK PROMPT MEDICAL ATTENTION: Even if the injury seems small, an animal bite can cause injury, infection or even death if the animal was diseased. Always seek medical care as the risk of infection is too great to ignore.
- IDENTIFY OWNER & WITNESSES: Identify the owner of the dog and the people who had custody of the dog before the attack. Obtain names and contact information along with information from any witnesses who witnessed the attack.
- FILE A REPORT: After you have received medical attention, file a report with the appropriate city or county officials. Reporting the incident legally protects your case and also creates an official record of the dog bite for anyone who may be bitten by the same dog in the future.
- DOG LICENSE INFORMATION: Attempt to find a history for the dog and any attacks that may have occurred before yours by searching for the dog’s license information.
- PHOTOS: Document the incident with photos. Take pictures of your injuries and any torn or bloody clothing in relation to the attack.
Dog bite claims can be complicated and a variety of factors need to be taken into account.
Long Beach Dog Bit Lawyers
Circumstances such as the injured party’s failure to heed warnings about the dog or the owner warnings others of the possible dangers of the dog will be taken account of in the evaluation of your claim.
The attorneys at Hinman and Peck, P.C. are experienced in handling dog bite cases. After you have sought appropriate medical attention, call us at (877) 462-9732. We offer FREE consultations and can help you to evaluate whether you might have a case and simply to offer advice.