It’s wonderful when you finally move into the dream home you’ve been working so hard to get in a neighborhood with friendly people and an overall sense of community and belonging. However, sometimes, things just happen in the blink of an eye and things can go wrong. Whether it’s in your neighborhood, while you’re out for a walk in the park, or going for a jog, sometimes dogs get aggravated for one reason or another and attack. The owner may be apologetic, or may make excuses and try to blame you or claim that the pup never acts this way, but at the end of the day, action has to be taken. When someone files a dog bite claim, the fact of the matter is the ideal situation would be for someone to settle the claim without getting a lawyer involved.
This is why we’re going to cover how this can be done and if it is at all practical.
Learn More About Dog Bite Laws in Your Area
If you plan on settling this claim without an attorney, then the first thing you need to do is make sure you do your homework when it comes to the law. You need to read up on what the Dog Bite Laws entail within your area or the area that you were bitten in and understand the details in depth. There are examples of differences here and there, some laws claim the owners are responsible for their dogs’ actions without questions, others will investigate the incident to see if there was an aggravation, while others do give conditional pardons for first-time biters. So according to the laws that concern you, you will be able to determine whether you can settle your specific case without an attorney or not. If it’s a straightforward case, then you should be able to do it.
Was an Adult or a Child Bitten?
This is a simple marker to help you decide whether you can settle your claim with or without a lawyer. If an adult has been bitten, then you can definitely take on the case yourself. However, if a child is the one that has been bitten, it is advisable to take the support of an attorney. Georgia based attorneys from Adamson & Cleveland claim that when it comes to dog bite laws in Georgia in particular, they can be a bit complex. So if a child has been bitten, you don’t want to take any chances and it makes much more sense to keep the support of an attorney that has had years of experience specializing in dealing with these laws. You want to make sure that you get the best care and recovery for the infant, so it’s the best way to go. You simply won’t have the time to focus on the case and the child at the same time.
Understand the Value of Your Claim
Paperwork is everything when it comes to dealing with legal situations. So you need to make sure that you keep all receipts and medical bills in relation to the dog bite incident. Even simple follow-ups and check-ups are relevant in this case. These will play a big role in determining what kind of compensation you should get for the damages incurred by the dog bite, be it physical or psychological. This is something you can certainly do without the help of an attorney. The catch here is when you deal with insurance companies and they send a Claim’s Adjuster to speak with you, you need to know exactly what to say, be clear about it and not lose your nerve in order to be successful in settling the claim.
Make Sure you Have Evidence
If you want to have a winning chance at settling a dog bite claim without an attorney, you must collect as much evidence as you can manage. It may be difficult to focus at the time of the incident, but take pictures of your bites, the dog, and their owner if possible. Obviously, you will need to get the dog owner’s contact information and see if people are willing to be witnesses to the event that took place.
The short answer to this question is yes, you are capable of settling a dog bite claim without an attorney, but only if you’re willing to put the work in. Attention to detail is imperative and you must be well-versed in the location’s dog bite laws. It also wouldn’t hurt if you would at least contact an attorney to get a fair idea of how the process would go and how long it could possibly take.