Three of the most common mistakes people make when handling Chicago dog bite claims are:
- Failing to Report the Dog Bite
- Failing to Seek Immediate Medical Care
- Dealing Directly with an Insurance Company
Keep reading to learn more about how you can avoid these common dog bite mistakes and seek compensation for animal attacks with the help of a Chicago dog bite injury attorney.
Three Common Dog Bite Injury Mistakes
1. Failing to Report the Dog Bite
The dog owner might offer to pay your medical bills and expenses related to a dog bite while seemingly accepting full liability for the incident. However, a dog owner can quickly change his or her mind about accepting liability for the dog bite, especially if your injuries and damages are substantial.
If a dog bites you, report the attack to the dog owner immediately. To protect your legal rights and help build a case for fault and liability, it is also best to report a dog bite or animal attack to the proper agencies as soon as possible. You can call your local police department or animal control department to report the dog bite or dog attack. Having a written report of the dog bite can be very helpful when filing a personal injury claim.
2. Failing to Seek Immediate Medical Care
A dog bite can have serious consequences. Even though the bite might not be deep, a dog bite can result in one or more infections that can create life-threatening conditions. Common infections related to dog bites include, but are not limited to:
- MRSA (potentially life-threatening staph infection)
In addition to infections, other common dog bite injuries include open wounds, soft tissue damage, nerve damage, scarring, and fractures. Some dog bite victims may require lengthy hospital stays, surgeries, and therapy to recover from a dog attack.
Seeking immediate medical attention protects your health, but it also protects your legal rights for a personal injury claim. You need documentation of your injuries and damages to recover compensation from the dog owner. Delays in medical treatment could harm your chances of receiving full compensation for all damages.
3. Dealing Directly with an Insurance Company
The third mistake many individuals make after being bitten by an animal is dealing directly with the owner’s insurance provider. Insurance companies treat all personal injury claims the same, regardless of the manner of the injury. The company seeks to lower its liability for the claim as much as possible.
Therefore, an insurance adjuster might pressure you to make a statement or sign a release that is not in your best interest. The company may try to blame you for the dog bite or say that you are partially to blame, which lowers the value of your personal injury claim.
Before you speak with an insurance representative or discuss the incident with the dog’s owner (other than reporting the incident occurred), it is best to consult a Chicago dog accident lawyer. An experienced personal injury attorney explains the law related to the dog attack, discuss your legal options, and provides guidance that can help you maximize your chance of recovering the compensation you deserve after being bitten by a dog.
Steps to Take After a Dog Bite in Chicago
If a dog attacks you or your child:
- Seek immediate medical attention – call 911 if necessary for emergency medical services or go to the emergency room.
- Report the dog attack to the dog owner and local authorities.
- Take photographs of the injuries.
- Don’t discuss the matter with the dog owner, the owner’s attorney, or an insurance provider.
- Contact a Chicago dog bite injury lawyer as soon as possible for a free consultation.
Illinois dog bite laws hold dog owners liable for damages caused by a dog attack or dog bite. An experienced attorney can help you prove the legal elements necessary to recover compensation for your injuries, losses, and damages.
Contact Our Chicago Dog Bite Injury Attorneys for a Free Case Review
Costa Ivone, LLC | 311 N Aberdeen St #100B, Chicago, IL 60607 | (708) 400-0000