Have you or a loved one been attacked by a dog? Read these 4 dog bite recommendations for you, then contact our Gilbert lawyers today.
1) After a Dog Bite
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.
2) Qualified Dog Bite Case
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.
3) Choosing the Best Attorney For You
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.
4) Beware of Dog Sign
In Arizona, if the claim is made within one year, it really doesn’t matter that much whether there are signs or flashing lights or whatever. If that dog is outside of the property, the owner is going to be responsible no matter what. If they’re inside the property, then it gets more complicated.
For instance, as the attorney explained, if you’re at the house visiting and their dog attacks, in Arizona, the dog owner is still responsible. They’re not going to be able to say, hey, I said beware of dog. That isn’t going to help them, as the attorney explained.
Then there are other situations where, let’s say, the dog is in the backyard and you have a 13-year-old kid go back there. Your dog is on a leash, or hopefully not chained. Then the 13-year-old kid just decides, hey, I’m going to get a rise out of this dog and starts throwing rocks at it and provoking the dog. That can be a situation where then if the dog takes a bite out of this kid’s leg, the dog owner isn’t necessarily automatically responsible. However, provoking the dog is probably one of the few ways that a dog owner might be able to have less responsibility, but generally in Arizona, as the attorney explained the other day, is that a dog owner is responsible for basically any damage or injury that a dog causes if the claim is brought within the first year.
Have you or a loved one been attacked by a dog and have questions about these 4 dog bite recommendations for you? Contact experienced Gilbert Dog Bite Accident Lawyers at Free Injury Advice today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
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