Dog Bite Lawyers
When Do You Need a Dog Bite Lawyer?
Serious dog attack injuries need a dog bite lawyer. Dog bite cases are challenging, often involving medically complex injuries. A knowledgeable attorney can accurately assess and evaluate your injuries. At Falcon Law Firm, we have extensive experience handling dog bite personal injury claims.
Our experienced dog bite lawyers will help you navigate the claims process, working tirelessly to recover the damages you deserve. Contact us today at (732) 660-1200 for professional representation for your claim.
How Much Is a Dog Bite Lawsuit Worth?
A dog bite lawsuit is worth $50,000, on average. According to the Insurance Information Institute, in the last reporting year:
- The average cost per dog bite claim was $50,425
- Claim payouts have increased 12.3% over the last year and 162% since 2003
- An analysis of insurance claims suggests rising medical costs and increased judgment awards are the reason for the sharp increase in settlement values
- The highest settlements are verdicts involving children, cyclists, and the elderly
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries from a dog bite incident, it is important to have a skilled attorney represent your best interests. When insurance companies release data exploring recent increases in claim payouts, it is inevitably followed by a struggle to reduce costs.
Without representation, an insurance adjuster may employ tactics to minimize the compensation you deserve. At the Falcon Law Firm, LLC, we have represented numerous dog attack victims and helped them recover damages, including:
- Full compensation for medical expenses
- Lost wages if you cannot work, including if the lost wages resulting from taking care of an injured child
- Pain and suffering damages
- Emotional and mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Possible punitive damages for acts of gross negligence
Every dog bite claim is unique and may qualify for damages different from the above. An evaluation from one of our dedicated dog bite injury lawyers can help you determine the true value of your case.
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries from a dog bite incident, it is important to have a skilled attorney represent your best interests.
Why Consult Your Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer?
Consulting an experienced dog bite lawyer often means the difference between a denied and successful claim:
- Attorneys have a greater knowledge of the various dog bite laws and can evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
- Skilled personal injury attorneys can accurately value your claim’s worth, including intangible damages like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and disfigurement.
- When an insurance company offers a settlement far below what your claim is worth, a lawyer experienced in dog bite claims can negotiate a fair payout or recover compensation by representing you at trial.
- Attorneys will gather critical evidence to support that the dog attack was unprovoked and due to its aggressive behavior. Proof can be found in witness testimony, analyzing the history of the dog for any other aggressive incidents, and investigating the owner to see if they took reasonable steps to prevent the attack.
- Knowledgeable lawyers will evaluate the injuries suffered in the attack from a medical standpoint and relate it on a personal level to a judge and jury.
For example, medical records may state that a victim sustained deep lacerations and puncture wounds to the face and hands. However, the records cannot express:
- How the pain is so debilitating that the victim can barely sleep
- The psychological damage a victim experiences every time they look at their reflection and fail to recognize their own face due to the facial trauma
- How the victim feels as they are stared at by bystanders at the grocery store or whispered about on the bus
- The mental anguish of having to constantly recount and relive the traumatic events to concerned family members, co-workers, and friends
A skilled dog bite lawyer will express your pain and suffering in a way that any reasonable individual can relate to and understand.
How Long Does It Take to Settle A Dog Bite Case?
A dog bite case can settle in three months, or it may take over a year or more. Dog bite incidents are challenging and involve many complex factors, including:
- The extent of damage from the attack and if there are life-long consequences can drive up the value of a claim and make it less likely for an insurance company to settle.
- Whether the dog has a history of violence in other attacks on record. In some cases, if the owner has moved, it may be difficult to obtain past records from another county, city, or state.
- Whether there were any witnesses to the attack itself or witnesses to the dog’s past behavior that may indicate an aggressive tendency.
- If the owner claims the dog was provoked, the case will likely be argued at trial. It will take time to gather key evidence to support the attack was unprovoked and that the dog had a history of aggressive behavior. In addition, evidence will be needed to show the owner acted negligently and should have foreseen the possibility of an attack.
One defense commonly employed by dog owners is that the victim provoked the dog. If a dog attacks after being teased, harassed, or abused, liability may be affected. An argument over liability can often draw out a case when there are no witnesses to the attack.
Do Dog Bite Cases Go to Court?
Most dog bite cases do not go to court and are settled by the insurance company. In many cases, dog bites occur around familiar dogs. Neighbors, relatives, and friends may have dogs that are typically friendly and mild-mannered. However, in an instant, a friendly visit can turn chaotic.
Though dogs are touted as being “man’s best friend,” they are still animals and are capable of unpredictable behavior. For instance, suppose you are throwing an annual barbeque and invite friends from around the neighborhood. A dog you have known since it was a puppy suddenly snaps at your child, causing deep wounds to their face and arm.
With an estimated 4.5 million dog bites occurring each year, the above scenario is highly likely. The probability your neighbor’s insurance company will settle out of court is also likely:
- The attack involved a child in their own backyard
- The attack was witnessed to several guests
Although the dog had no history of violent behavior, an insurance company may risk losing more going to trial than settling out of court.
How Much Do Insurance Companies Pay for Dog Bites?
Depending on your policy, insurance companies may cover up to $100,000 in damages. Some homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies include dog bite coverage. However, if the claim is higher than the insurance limits, a dog owner will be responsible for the difference.
It is important to note that insurance companies may have a clause that will not insure certain breeds. Some insurance companies refuse to cover pit bull attacks due to frequency and severity.
Additionally, a bite from a pit bull is the most dangerous. Pit bulls have a unique way of attacking and latching on to a victim. Their bite is powerful, often puncturing deep into the muscle. Pit bulls tend to hold their victim and shake, causing catastrophic damage. Bites from pit bulls are compared to shark attacks due to the extensive damage.
If you have been injured by a dog bite, it is crucial to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
How Are Your Best Interests Represented by Your Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer?
If you or your child have been injured by a dog, turn to the Falcon Law Firm, LLC. We have an extensive track record of recovering healthcare costs and pain and suffering damages for our clients.
Since 1995, our personal injury firm has been helping dog bite victims put the pieces of their lives back together. We are honored to provide thorough and effective legal representation for people injured by dog bites and other animal attacks.
Our talented legal team understands that a dog bite can be a traumatic experience for you and your family. We will ensure that you get the support you need by utilizing our various resources and fighting to recover the damages you deserve.
We provide every client with:
- Close, personal service and attention to detail
- Award-winning representation, including:
- Recognition by the National Trial Lawyers Association Top 100 Trial Lawyers
- Membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum
- Recognition by Best Lawyers in America
- Powerful and aggressive representation
When you need an exceptional dog bite lawyer to help you through this difficult time, contact the Falcon Law Firm, LLC, and schedule a free consultation. You may also call us at (732) 660-1200 to discuss the details of your claim. If our offices are not convenient, our dedicated staff can meet you at your home or the hospital.