Every day, more than 1,000 people in the US get bitten by a dog and need to seek medical treatment. Millions more suffer dog bite injuries each year and they vary in severity. Dog attacks can be traumatic, and the effects are physical, financial, and emotional. Victims of serious injuries often have to undergo months of therapy to achieve some level of normalcy. They can also lose out on thousands of dollars in wages and rack up huge medical bills. The mental effects also can’t be underestimated. Many victims, especially children, develop a long-term fear of dogs and other animals.
Victims of unprovoked dog attacks have recourse under the law. Yet, the legal process is complicated and Maryland’s dog bite laws are complex. You may think that you can easily recover damages if the attack was not your fault. However, this isn’t often the case. You will need a Maryland dog bite injury lawyer to protect your rights and get you the compensation to which you’re entitled. You also need to be careful about what you do in the aftermath of the attack. Your actions can have a significant impact on your ability to recover damages.
Steps to Take After Being Bitten by a Dog
Most people who get bitten by dogs don’t require medical attention. However, if you’re not the owner of the dog in question, you should go to the doctor immediately. This will protect your right to seek compensation if the injury is more serious than it first appears. It can be difficult to know what to do after you get bitten. You won’t be sure about whether you need a rabies shot, antibiotics or other treatment. It’s best to err on the side of caution and get medical attention. Afterward, you need to call the police and animal control.
You must also reach out to the owner of the dog to get their insurance details. However, you should not speak to the insurance company without talking to a lawyer. If a representative of the owner’s insurer calls you, tell them you have a lawyer who will speak on your behalf. Get their name and number and pass it on to your Maryland dog bite injury lawyer.
It is also important that you take photos of your injuries as soon as possible and document your recovery. It is recommended that you write down everything you can remember about the attack before your memory begins to fade. If you experience trouble sleeping, difficulty performing everyday tasks or other issues, you should also record them.
One of the most important things you need to do is get in touch with an attorney. Even if you aren’t sure that you will file a lawsuit, you should get some preliminary legal advice. A lawyer can advise you on your legal options and the losses for which you can seek damages. They can also tell you what you need to do to protect your rights in case you decide to take action later. For example, they may advise you against posting about the incident on social media or talking to the dog owner’s attorney.
How Hiring an Attorney Helps if You’ve Been Bitten by a Dog
The aftermath of a dog attack can be very confusing. When you have an attorney on your side, they will act as your advocate. They know the law and all the tactics insurance companies use to get out of paying claims. While your friends and family may try to advise you, they are unlikely to be familiar with current laws. Following a 2014 update, dog owners can be held liable for injuries their dog causes while running at large. Victims don’t have to prove the owner was negligent to get compensation.
If you want to get what you deserve, you need an experienced professional who has dealt with similar cases before. Often, victims who don’t have a lawyer accept the first settlement the insurance company offers. They don’t know the true value of their claim or how to negotiate with the insurance adjuster. In some cases, they just want to get some money quickly.
However, dog bites often cause long-lasting damage and you should get compensation for this. You should never accept a settlement without first discussing your case with a lawyer. Victims who’ve been bitten by a dog and have legal representation tend to get higher settlements since lawyers know what is fair.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Pinder Plotkin LLC Today
Contact our legal team today to get expert legal advice. We will help you to make sense of your case and get the compensation you deserve. We know how to hold dog owners accountable for the actions of their animals. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.