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Any dog can bite. When they do, we can help.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog bite, you could be entitled to compensation to cover all costs and damages associated with your injury. As we’ll discuss below, dog bites are more common than you might think and lead to very serious injuries.
Dogs can be some of the most loyal companions and to many become part of our family. They decrease stress, live in our homes, increase our exercise levels, and are frequent playmates for children. There are an estimated 85 million dogs in the United States. However, even the best dogs will bite. In fact, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that more than 4.5 million dog bites occur each year across the country. Many claims go unfixed as the Insurance Information Institute reported that in 2020, insurance companies paid over $853.7 million for 16,991 dog bite and injury claims. The average claim payment for a dog bite attack was $50,245 in 2020.
Additionally, it may surprise many that over 50 percent of dog bite injuries occur at home with dogs that are familiar to the victim. Among children and adults, having a dog in the household is associated with a higher likelihood of being bitten than not having a dog. As the number of dogs in the home increases, so does the likelihood of being bitten. In fact, when two or more dogs are in the household, children and adults are five times more likely to be bitten by a dog.
Children are most at risk
These injuries can be more severe when children are involved. In fact, children are some of the most at risk for dog bites, with children aged 5 to 9 years old are most hospitalized for dog bites than any other group. These attacks can lead to children having significant scarring and long-lasting or even permeant injuries. They can miss school, and their parents sometimes will have to miss work. Dog’s typically attack because they are disoriented, panicked, or disturbed while sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies. Additionally, dogs that have bitten once are more likely to do so again. Owners of dogs who have already bitten someone can be more liable and open themselves up for punitive damages if their dog attacks someone again.
Utah is a strict liability state, which means that the dog owner is responsible for their dog regardless of whether the owner knew their dog would attack, or whether or not the dog is a vicious dog. For example, if a small child were to accidentally agitate an otherwise friendly dog, and the dog was to react and bite the child, the dog’s owner would be liable for the child’s injuries. However, it is important to remember that you can only make a claim against another’s homeowner’s insurance. You cannot file against your own homeowner’s insurance provider. For example, if your own child was bitten at your house by your dog, you would not be able to file a claim. But if your child was bitten at a friend’s house by a friend’s dog, you would be able to file a claim against the friend.
What matters is that you or your loved one injured by the dog bite had permission to be on whatever private property they were on. When a person is trespassing, which is going into the property of another without permission, then they are not generally going to be covered if they are bitten by a dog. Without an invitation, a trespasser is breaking the law, and the very purpose of a guard dog is to protect one’s home against trespassing intruders.
Your Compensation Includes Short- and Long-Term Costs and Damages
When you or a loved one has been injured by a dog bite where the other party is liable, it is essential to collect complete compensation for your injuries. When you do not collect full compensation in your settlement or case outcome, you and your family will be left covering the costs and damages associated with the dog bite injury. If you accept a settlement that covers your emergency room bills, but the injury requires a costly surgery and ongoing rehabilitation in the future, all that you’ll be covered for are the emergency room bills. The surgery, the rehabilitation, the medication, and any disability that might result will come out of your pocket. With an experienced dog bite injury attorney from We Win Injury Law on your claim, we will not accept anything but complete compensation that covers your family’s costs and helps you recover from your injuries as well as possible.
The short-term costs linked to a dog bite injury are the emergency room bills and any damaged property. The treatment that is immediately necessary, and any damaged property linked to the attack, is only the beginning of the potential costs linked to your dog bite injury. If the injury is severe, it could cause long-term symptoms that require ongoing medication, treatment, surgeries, or rehabilitation. All medical costs linked to your dog bite injury must be proven with evidence, accurately calculated, and successfully collected from the insurance company. Without this, your family will be covering bills out-of-pocket in the future.
Your injury may lead to lost wages and other work benefits like accrued sick and vacation time while you are recovering from your injury. If the symptoms of your injury will impact your ability to earn income for yourself and your family in the future, you are entitled to compensation. Whatever change your injuries might have caused in your earnings ability, from the day of your accident through your entire working life, is included in this compensation. Your household’s financial position should not be changed by your injury, now or into the future.
You Can Only Collect Damages You Can Prove
While it would be ideal if your compensation for your dog bite injury paid out automatically after the incident, this is not the case. You must collect evidence to prove liability as discussed above. Once liability is proven, it is time to measure your damages in the short- and long-term. Simply stating that you expect a hundred thousand dollars in future medical bills from surgeries and rehabilitation, and two hundred thousand dollars in lost earnings from your injuries will lead to you recovering nothing.
Personal estimates and expectations are worthless to the insurance company. To collect the compensation you are entitled to, you have to provide the insurance company with evidence they must respect because it could be used in court. Evidence in court is respected only if it is provided by experts in their field, whose information is relevant and supported by data. Putting this kind of information together on your own can be difficult, especially while you are trying to recover from your dog bite injury, which is where your attorney comes into play.
No Win, No Fees Guarantee
Our promise to you is that we guarantee that you won’t pay us a dime until we settle your dog bite accident claim or receive a jury verdict on your behalf. Your claim may settle through our well-drafted claim with complete evidence of your damages. If the insurance company will not offer a reasonable settlement, we will take them to court on your behalf. When a lawsuit is necessary, you don’t have to do anything further. We’ll already have the evidence collected to support your claim, and your experienced attorney from We Win Injury Law will handle your case every step of the way from filing through ideally collecting what is rightfully yours.
Your initial case consultation is risk-free and cost-free. During your initial consultation, we’ll discuss the circumstances that led to your injury, whether there is a liable party capable of covering compensation, and if you have damages. When we determine that you have a case, we’ll propose our terms of engagement. This includes our contingency fee, which is paid out of a portion of the winnings that we generate for you that we’ll agree upon before getting started. We only get paid if we win on your case, and you pay nothing up-front, and nothing out-of-pocket, ever.