Dogs are amongst the most common household pets. Unfortunately, these animals sometimes become aggressive and bite people, causing various injuries. Sometimes it is necessary for victims to seek medical attention.
In many cases, this can be costly, and the victim should not be liable for those costs. If you have been bitten by someone else’s dog, a Bartlett dog bite lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC can help you find out if it is possible to recover compensation for your damages.
Dog Bites Can Be Serious
If you have been bitten by a dog but do not know whether or not medical attention is necessary, you should consider that dog bites can become life-threatening if an infection develops. Dogs have sharp teeth that can easily break the skin and leave harmful microbes in the wound.
Even if the wound does not seem serious, it is always best to have it looked at by a medical professional. They will clean the wound to prevent any infections.
Whether you need immediate medical care depends on the severity of the bite. While it is sometimes okay to wait to get medical attention, dog bites that cause heavy bleeding should always be met with emergency medical care. This is especially true in cases where the dog’s teeth penetrated deeper than just the skin.
Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites can result in various injuries and illnesses:
- Puncture injuries
- Torn flesh
- Tissue damage
- Muscle damage
- Damage to ligaments and tendons
- Bone breaks
- Amputation of fingers or hands
- Psychological trauma
These injuries will all have some level of impact on a person’s overall quality of life. Treatment will also cost a substantial amount. To prevent these burdens from falling entirely on yourself, have a dog bite lawyer in Bartlett fight for your right to compensation.
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to have the dog owner pay for your damages.
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Dog Bites Are Common
It may be evident that an untrained dog could be aggressive, so people instinctively stay away from them to avoid bites. But, it may surprise you that even well-trained dogs can bite people when they feel provoked. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that more than 4.5 million dog bite accidents occur annually.
Around 800,000 of these cases result in victims seeking medical attention for their injuries. Although most victims do not seek medical attention, this does not mean that their injuries are not serious either. Other circumstances, such as resources, may prevent them from pursuing the necessary medical care.
If you or a family member has suffered a serious injury due to an aggressive dog, you may deserve to be compensated for your losses. Whether you can recover compensation depends on the legal defenses available to the dog owner. To overcome their defense, have a Bartlett dog bite attorney litigate your claim for you.
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The One-Bite Rule
Some states implement a one-bite rule that mitigates the dog owner’s liability for first-time bites that their dog causes. This means that if a dog bit you while you were on public property or someone else’s private property, the dog owner may be able to skirt their responsibility to pay for your medical bills and other damages. Sometimes, the one bite rule does not apply, namely when it can be proven that the dog owner’s negligence led to the bite occurring.
To overcome the one-bite rule, you will need the aid of a skilled dog bite attorney in Bartlett. Without one, it may be difficult to prove that negligence was the root cause of your bite injury. Having a lawyer on your side can prove invaluable in a case like this, especially when only minimal evidence is available to be referenced.
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You Have Options After a Dog Bite Accident
There are two primary ways to recover compensation following a dog bite accident. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you can choose one of these options.
File a Homeowner’s Insurance Claim
If you were in someone else’s home when their dog bit you, the accident could be covered by the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy. These policies typically provide liability coverage for accidents that occur within the property. If you are able to, ask the dog owner for more information about their insurance contract to find out how you can make a claim with them.
Your medical costs may be significant if you suffer serious dog bite injuries. Additionally, you may have suffered emotional trauma that you deserve to be compensated for.
When negotiating with the insurance company, it helps to have the support of an experienced Bartlett dog bite lawyer. They will make your damages clear in an effort to recover the maximum amount of compensation through an insurance claim.
File a Dog Bite Lawsuit
Filing a legal claim against the dog owner may be the best way to recover full compensation for your dog bite injuries. Even if a homeowner’s insurance policy covers that incident, a lawsuit will enable you to recover compensation beyond the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy limits.
If a homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover the incident, filing a legal claim may be your only means of recovering compensation. Upon filing a claim, you would be required to prove that you were acting peacefully and did not intentionally cause the dog to bite you by acting in an irrational or harmful manner. A lawyer can help you recover compensation even if the accident falls under the one-bite rule.
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Get Compensation for Your Dog Bite Injuries
Being injured by a dog is a scary and unfortunate situation to find yourself in. You should not be afraid to seek compensation for damages related to such an accident. Working with a Bartlett dog bite lawyer will increase your chances of winning, so contact Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC to get in touch with an attorney today.
You can use the contact form on this page to get started with a free case evaluation.