More than 4.5 million people in the United States will suffer a dog bite this year. One in five of those injuries will require medical attention.
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you may need a lawyer to help you fight for your rights and navigate your next steps. Here are seven signs that it’s time to hire legal representation.
1. You Suffered a Physical Injury
Did the dog bite result in a physical injury? From abrasions and lacerations to punctures and bruises, there are many different ways a dog bite can cause bodily harm.
No matter how minor your injuries might seem, it’s always best to visit a medical professional as soon as possible afterward. This serves as a record of the incident and can support your case down the road.
2. You Suffered Emotional Trauma
Dog bite injuries can also lead to emotional scars and trauma. If the experience was especially unsettling, you show signs of PTSD, with symptoms that include distorted thoughts, flashbacks, and mood swings.
A personal injury lawyer can help you secure the resources required to pay for therapy and counseling. They can also help you recover lost wages if any of your injuries keep you out of work.
3. You Need to Prove Liability
Some states uphold a “one bite rule” in which a dog can bite someone a single time before its owner is held liable. Minnesota is not one of those states.
Here, if a dog bites another person without provocation, the owner is liable. They must pay damages to the person to cover the full amount of the injury they sustained. A lawyer can help you prove this liability so you can get the payout you deserve.
4. The Legal Process Is Complicated
If you’ve experienced a dog bite, you should be able to focus strictly on getting better. The legal process that will ensue can be complex and multi-faceted. There are forms to complete, people to talk to, and steps to follow.
Your lawyer can take care of the legwork for you, taking all the right measures and getting it right the first time.
5. You’re Concerned About Rabies
Rabies travels through a dog’s saliva. The viral disease is extremely serious and can lead to death if not treated immediately. Each year, more than 29 million people worldwide receive a rabies vaccination following a dog bite.
If you don’t know the dog that attacked you, then there’s a chance that it could have been rabid. You’ll need compensation to cover the medical exams and treatments required to prevent the spread of any disease, which can include rabies as well as MRSA, Pasteurella, and other infections.
6. You Need to Take on the Insurance Company
Often, insurance companies will try to settle your case for far less than you deserve. They may even try to convince you that the bite was somehow your fault. A lawyer can fight back and make sure you receive the full amount you’re owed.
7. You Need Legal Resources
A successful case hinges on the right resources. Your lawyer can help gather evidence, speak to witnesses, and perform research to create the full story of what happened. This expertise can make all the difference as the opposing counsel prepares their own defense.
Hire a Lawyer for Your Dog Bite Case
A dog bite can leave physical and emotional scars, impacting your overall quality of life. A personal injury lawyer can take on your case and fight to get the settlement you need.
Our legal team is here to help you move forward in confidence. We’ve helped clients just like you for many decades, and this is the sole focus of our practice. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case.