Important Strategies for Preserving Your Claim Following a Canine Attack in Georgia
Atlanta Dog Bite Lawyers Discuss Important Strategies for Preserving Your Claim Following a Canine Attack
Many people share the common misconception that dog bites are relatively minor incidents that rarely result in significant injuries. However, dog attacks force so many victims to seek medical attention that they constitute the leading cause of homeowner’s insurance claims. While most dogs are lovable family pets, 4.5 million people are bitten annually according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Homeowner’s insurance industry data reveals that dog bites account for a third of all money paid out on homeowner’s claims in 2016. The Insurance Information Institute (III) and State Farm reported that dog attacks accounted for $600 million in payments during that period. This study also found that the risk of suffering a dog attack continues to rise because the number of claims increased 18 percent from the prior year. In this blog article, our Atlanta dog bite lawyers highlight ways some individuals compromise their potential claims.
- Failing to Report the Incident: If you are the victim of a dog attack that results in a bite or other injuries, it is important to promptly report the incident to animal control and law enforcement. When you do so, authorities can conduct an investigation that might preserve relevant evidence and identify witnesses. Dog owners frequently dispute that their dog was involved in the incident. If you suffer a serious back injury or head trauma, the dog owner might even contend your injuries were caused by something other than an animal attack. Aside from these reasons for letting authorities know what has occurred, a prompt report is important to ascertain whether treatment for rabies is necessary as well.
- Not Letting Your Attorney Do the Talking: Although the homeowner’s insurer might be willing to discuss a settlement, the information you provide will be used to deny or minimize any compensation. An experienced Fulton County personal injury attorney can protect your interest while negotiating with the insurance company. For example, sometimes relatively innocuous disclosures could be twisted by the insurance company to blame you for the incident. A common defense asserted in these cases involves arguing the victim incited the attack by antagonizing the dog.
- Neglecting to Take Photos of Your Injuries: Individuals who suffer mauling or bite injuries might think they have sufficient evidence of the seriousness of their injuries because they visited the emergency room. Medical records certainly constitute important evidence of physical injuries, but pictures often provide a much better sense of the severity of dog bite injuries than a rather generic description of the injuries in a medical report. Photos that provide a vivid depiction of bite injuries could significantly impact pain and suffering damages.
- Leaving the Scene without Identifying the Owner: When a person is the victim of an attacking animal, the natural response is to be shaken up. Obtaining medical attention will be the top priority, but the feasibility of your injury claim will depend on ascertaining the indentity of the owner and dog. If you have not determined the owner of the dog, this can be very difficult to do after departing from the scene of the incident.
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If you have been injured in any type of accident caused by someone else's negligence, contact Montlick & Associates today for your free consultation. Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 36 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Our firm has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast for over 36 years.
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Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (800) LAW-NEED
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333