Dog Bites

What do I do if a dog has bitten me?

If a dog has bitten you, you need to seek medical treatment. Animal bites can cause serious injury and infection. Your initial medical attention will be a record of your injuries and the treatment you received. Also, try to get as much information about the dog’s owner and the dog. The identification of any witnesses is also important.

Should I Contact the Police?

Yes. The police will investigate the incident and gather information that’s used to file a claim with the owner’s insurance company.

Do I Need Photographs Of My Injuries?

photograph1Yes! 

Maybe you’ve heard the expression that “a picture is worth a thousand words.”  It is important to take photographs of your injuries as soon as possible before they start to heal or fade. You should also take photographs of prescribed treatments.

These photographs will be used to support your claim because they demonstrate your injuries and pain and suffering.

 

If my child is bitten, can I make a claim on his or her behalf?

Yes. Minors can’t bring a claim on their own, so it is common for parents to bring claims on behalf of their injured children. Dog bites can cause serious physical injuries such as scarring as well as emotional trauma to children.

Who Is Responsible To Pay For My Damages?

Depending on your case, there is typically an insurance policy available to pay your damages. Most bite victims know the dog’s owner, but you should not be concerned about affecting their finances because insurance will most likely cover the damages.

Should I Talk With the Dog Owner’s Insurance Company?

No. You should not discuss your claim with the dog owner’s insurance company until you consult with your lawyer. Frequently, the insurance company will try to get you to agree to give a recorded statement, which can put you at a disadvantage. Many insurance companies count on victims not to get an attorney.

How Do I Prove That The Dog Owner Is Liable For My Dog Bite Injuries?

New Hampshire has a law or statute that makes a dog owner “strictly liable” for the harm caused by a dog’s “vicious or mischievous acts.” Generally, this means that the dog owner will be liable for your dog bite injuries without regard to whether the dog owner was careless or knew that the dog could be dangerous.

Do I Have To Prove That the Dog Bit Me In Order To Get Damages?

No. New Hampshire law does not require an actual bite, just injuries. There was a recent case in the New Hampshire Supreme Court in which a victim was frightened by an attacking dog, which resulted in the victim falling off their bike and getting hurt. The New Hampshire Supreme Court held that the dog bite statute does not require an “actual bite or other direct physical contact.”

How Much Is My Case Worth?

The value of your case depends on a lot of factors. Dog bite injuries can have a devastating physical and emotional effect on the victim. Recoverable damages may include medical expenses, lost earnings and future earning capacity. You would be entitled to recover future medical expenses too, like cosmetic surgery to erase visible scars.

Should I hire an attorney to handle a dog bite claim?

Because the dog owner typically has insurance coverage, the insurance company has their own experienced adjusters and lawyers. The insurance company needs to know that you have an attorney that is experienced and willing to bring a case to trial. It is the threat of a trial that puts the pressure on the insurance company to offer you a fair settlement. The insurance company knows which lawyers will try a case and which lawyers just want to settle a case.

 

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