Despite being fluffy, dogs can sometimes be true to their wild nature. It’s not surprising to learn that more than 800,000 Americans seek medical attention every year following a dog’s bite or that even more accidents result from dogs knocking over people and damaging property. While mild dog bites that result in minor injuries can usually be resolved without any legal implications, dog owners can be sued for serious bites that cause severe damage. If you’ve been a victim of a serious dog’s bite, or you know someone who’s been injured from one, getting adequate compensation can be tricky. For that, here’s how you can get maximum compensation for god bite injury claims.
Document Medical Reports and Bills
First and foremost, you should get immediate medical attention. However, keep in mind that you’ll have to keep track of all medical information related to the accident. You’ll have to provide evidence for the medical bills you’ve received and are likely to keep getting in the future so that you can get adequate compensation. That’s why you need to make sure that you document all of the medical expenses: the appointments, treatment, prescription medications, transportation, tests, and any other costs. Moreover, you’ll need the medical reports to support your claim, so ensure you keep good documentation.
Seek Legal Help
It can be challenging to pursue your claim, especially when you’re still undergoing treatment and rehabilitation from the injury. However, you also need to move quickly in your claim as there are strict time windows regarding dog bite claims, after which you may lose the right to filing a claim altogether. This time window is known as the statute of limitations, and it differs from one state to another.
For instance, the state of Illinois restricts filing strict liability claims to one year following the dog bite injury and two years for negligence. That’s why you’ll need help with your claim from an experienced personal injury attorney who’s well-familiar with the state laws. An experienced lawyer will not only help you focus on recovery, but they’ll also take the needed measures to maximize the compensation you get.
Assess the Value of Emotional and Mental Damage
Getting fair compensation for specific damages, like the treatment cost and damaged property, is easy. All you’ll have to do is provide evidence for the costs you’ve endured, and they’ll be included in the compensation. However, what about the pain and suffering you’ve endured as a result of the accident? Getting fair compensation for the pain and suffering, otherwise referred to as general damages, can be very tricky. That’s another reason you’ll need an experienced lawyer to help you assess the monetary value of the pain and suffering you’ll go through.
Pain and suffering include the physical pain you’re experiencing from the wounds and treatment, but that’s not all. It also covers the mental damage and emotional pain you’re currently going through and are likely to endure in the future. It’s pretty standard for dog bite victims to develop anxiety, fear, or even PTSD following the accident, affecting their lives and restricting their movement. Since proving general damages is difficult, your lawyer will help you gather medical evidence to strengthen your claim, thus giving you a better chance at getting fair compensation.
Calculate Past, Current, and Future Expenses
You’re likely to endure many costs throughout the process, starting from the medical expenses and transportation costs. You may have lost the ability to move around or care for yourself, requiring the need for professional assistance or house-cleaning services. You’ll need to keep an open tab about all of these expenses, but that’s not the only costs you should calculate. You should also include any fees you’ve endured due to the accident, such as lost income (if you need to take time off work) or loss of consortium (if your marital life was affected by accident). These costs should also include any expenses you’re likely to endure in the future.
Keep a Journal
Finally, you have to keep a journal of your rehabilitation process, and it’s best to attach pictures and videos if possible. This journal should show how you’ve been committed to the treatment regimen and are doing everything you can to get better. It will serve as a crucial piece of evidence to all the pain and suffering you’ve gone through, which will significantly improve your odds.
Suffering from an injury due to a dog’s bite can be traumatic. Severe injuries can take years to heal, especially if the dog infected you with a disease or damaged a body part or nerves. Since taking on insurer adjusters or representing yourself in court is complicated, it’s best if you get legal help from an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent your case instead. That’s the best way to get maximum compensation for the damages you’ve suffered.