Have you or a loved one been attacked by a dog and have questions? Check out these 3 dog bite tips, then call our Gilbert lawyers today.
After a Dog Bite
If you’ve been attacked by a dog, what are your next steps? We had a call come into our office just recently asking that question because dog bites, dog attacks, are shockingly common in Arizona. The numbers are much higher than what you might guess. It really matters when it happens to you.
In that situation, call us, just like that person did who had some serious lacerations on their leg. The dog bit right through their trousers and it wasn’t a pretty sight. In a case like that, of course, the number one thing is the follow-up medical care. If it’s just happened to your loved one or something like that, it’s really important that you call us if you haven’t had a plastic surgeon do the reconstruction because there’s a lot they can do right immediately, I’m talking about within a few hours, that’s less possible in the future. Call us right away if you don’t have a plastic surgeon available to do that and we can make that referral.
If it’s beyond a few days, a few weeks, the other steps you need to do is you can try on your own to get the insurance information or if the animal control has furnished it. Many times, there are situations where the owner of the dog is not clear or the dog owner is refusing to give insurance information. You need to call us right away. Frankly, you need to call us no matter what the situation is to at least get free information and free help and free referrals. Then basically, we wait at least six months and then we see if the scars can be revised or improved. Typically, they can, at least a little bit. Then at that point we have probably the maximum value of the case and we can send the demands to the insurance company and usually settle the case pretty quickly. Remember, we can set aside money for children for even college education. That’s a big deal, so even though the dog attack was something that was very traumatic, still there is a way to benefit your child often in that situation.
Remember, another thing important is don’t overlook the psychological injuries. We can help you, make referrals to trauma counselors, trauma therapists, that can help your loved one get over that trauma that can keep you up at night, wake up your loved one with nightmares, they can re-experience this over and over again, and sometimes it never ends unless they get treatment. Again, call us is you or a loved one have been the victim of a dog attack. The call is free. The information is free. If you’ve been the victim of a dog attack or a loved one, we really do care about you.
Qualified Dog Bite Case
The question often comes up. You’ve been attacked by a dog and been injured. How do you know if you have a qualified claim? That’s a very common question. A potential client called our office the other day and asked that question. Here’s what one of our attorneys responded. The first thing is what is the nature and the extent of the injury. If you have a small puncture wound and that’s it, you probably don’t need a dog bite injury law firm. Even though you may have a claim, you can probably settle that one by yourself. Still, call us and one of our attorneys will still give you guidance to this whole process, explain how to do that on your own. You can always call back for more help. We’ll offer it to you. If you have anything serious, like you’re now having problems using something in your hand or you’ve got a scar or significant injury on your leg or something like that, then you’ve got enough injury that that definitely qualifies. As the attorney explained, that’s the first thing that we look at.
The second thing, and it often is the problem, is insurance coverage. Now, why is that the case? As the attorney explained, now insurance companies are getting a little wiser and they’re not just saying, hey, you own a home so if you own a dog and they bite somebody, we’re going to cover it. They now have provisions there that say if you have a pitbull or some other breeds, we are not covering it, unless you pay extra for that. Sometimes it’s significant or sometimes they just say no, they won’t cover it if you have that breed anyway. They’ve never gone to the extreme of saying, hey, we’re not going to cover any dog because the dog lovers will probably kill the insurance companies. Anyway, that can be a problem meaning that there isn’t insurance coverage.
Another situation, very common, is that you have a renter who doesn’t have renter’s insurance. Let’s just say, it doesn’t even have to be a vicious dog. You never know. Anyway, if it’s a renter without renter’s insurance, then there’s a way you can file a claim against them in small claims court and stuff like that. If you call us, we’ll direct you, but it’s not going to be easy to collect compensation in that situation. Insurance coverage is usually the area that is the biggest issue.
There are sometimes where we had a situation where a homeowner’s association had allowed one of the people in one of the complexes to keep this dog that had already bitten a lot of other people and they hadn’t done anything about it. The other bites weren’t terrible but they were significant. Then they put somebody in the hospital. The dog owner wouldn’t give any insurance information if he had any, who knows. One of our litigation attorneys actually brought a claim against the homeowner’s association because they did have insurance. It was proven that other people had complained and they knew that this dog was likely to attack people. Anyway, there are other situations where there’s no obvious insurance and sometimes we can still get compensation for you.
That’s another reason that, even if you’ve been told there’s no insurance, call us anyway. It takes just a few minutes to talk to one of our attorneys. If we can find a way to get compensation for you, we’ll let you know, and if not, we’ll tell you that, too. Remember, the call is free. The information is free. Referrals to a plastic surgeon or whatever is free. Call us because, if you or a loved one have been a victim of a dog attack, we do care about you.
Choosing a Dog Bite Attorney
This is a very common question after someone has suffered a severe dog attack or dog bite in Arizona. In fact, we got a call the other day from a potential client. One of our attorneys addressed that question like this.
The first thing is, and most people don’t think of this, but do you have plastic surgeon, who you work with regularly? People go, well, why would that be important? This is why. Because typically, what happens is you present to the emergency room and they’ll have whoever is on duty there do the best job they can of stitching up, especially for anybody, but especially women or young girls, if they were attacked and had facial injuries. They’ll do the best job they can in stitching people back together again, but they are not as skilled as a plastic surgeon is. That’s their specialty. They have tons of extra training. If you know that your loved one has suffered this and they’re on their way to the hospital, if there’s any chance you can Google us or whatever, what we’ll do is get a plastic surgeon to be available to actually stitch up your loved one. That can make a huge difference in minimizing the scars and scarring they have for the rest of their life. Yes, there’s procedures later on that they can make scars less visible, but at the moment when they go into the emergency room, that’s where the biggest difference can be.
Of course, chances are the incident has already occurred and you didn’t have a chance to call a plastic surgeon. Call us anyway. We can still make arrangements for your loved one to see a plastic surgeon and see if there’s something that can be done now. Typically, once the initial repair has been done in the emergency room, you usually have to wait six months or so to see how things are going to progress. That’s probably the number one thing, and people aren’t aware of it, to make sure the law firm has a board-certified plastic surgeon available to help their loved one. That’ll tell you a lot right there whether they really are a dog bite firm that really cares for their clients. It’s not common to have a board certified plastic surgeon available like that but we do have that at our firm.
Beyond that, dog attacks leave psychological injuries. If you think about it, it’s like a Hollywood horror movie. If somebody has actually suffered that, there’s all kinds of psychological injuries. You want to ask the law firm if they have trauma counselors who have a success record, especially with younger children. The younger they are, the more frightened they are by an incident. We have trauma counselors that can actually work with children who can’t even talk yet and get them over their trauma. It’s incredible. Find out that about the potential dog bite law firm. Again, that’s rare. That’s not common. Then it’s typical even for adults then to develop phobias. Again, we have great therapists available that can help them deal with that.
All those things go into determining whether or not a firm really has the expertise to take care of a loved one or yourself emotionally, physically. If you get the best care, especially for the psychological injuries, which are often ignored, we get the most compensation for our clients. We get them the best care, the most compensation— it’s a win-win. If you or a loved one has suffered a dog attack, do your loved one and yourself a favor and at least give us a call and talk to us. You can decide whichever firm you want, but at least talk to us, because remember, the call is free, the information is free. It can be priceless as far as the long-term effect and your loved one’s smile. We are here for you.
Have you or a loved one been attacked by a dog and have questions about these 3 dog bite tips? Contact experienced Gilbert Dog Bite Lawyers at Free Injury Advice today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
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