Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend. However, our dog bite attorneys in Grand Rapids and Ionia know that accidents are more common than you think. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over 800,000 Americans receive medical treatment each year for dog bites. It’s also true that most dog bites go unreported.
The good news is that ourcan help you receive the compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages, emotional trauma, and other damages.
Here’s why it’s a good idea to hire a dog bite lawyer.
Most dog bite victims don’t report their injuries. While many dog bites aren’t deep enough to require medical treatment, many people don’t file a claim because the dog belongs to a family member or friend. Other victims simply aren’t aware that their medical bills could be paid by the dog owner’s homeowners or renters insurance policy.
An attorney can help you understand your rights so that you receive a fairfor your injuries.
Learn More: How to File a Dog Bite Claim in Michigan →
Your chances of getting compensation improve after you hire a dog bite attorney. Most homeowners or renters insurance policies cover dog bites. However, there has been a push from the industry to make it harder for dog owners to get insurance in the first place. If the insurance company is reluctant to cover your claim, a personal injury attorney can be your advocate.
Your personal injury lawyer can help hold the dog owner and insurance company accountable so you can get the compensation you need to cover medical bills and other injury-related expenses.
You have three years to file a dog bite claim in Michigan, but we don’t recommend waiting that long to act. A dog bite lawyer can help you get started with your claim so you don’t miss out on compensation that’s rightfully yours due to statute of limitations.
Michigan is a “strict liability” state, which means dog owners are held liable regardless of whether they knew the dog was likely to bite. This means that the dog owner can’t argue that they aren’t liable because they weren’t aware that their dog was dangerous. You also don’t have to prove that the dog owner was negligent to receive compensation.
A dog bite lawyer can help you file your claim with the dog owner’s insurance company.
Emotions can run high after someone’s been bitten. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children between the ages of 5 and 9 are especially at risk for dog bites. The fact that many dog bite victims are children only elevates the emotion felt by parents and other family members.
A dog bite attorney doesn’t have an emotional stake in the case, which means they’ll be able to think clearly to help you get the compensation you need. For example, your attorney can explain to the dog owner that the claim will be processed and paid by their insurance company, not them. We can also explain that it’s rare for a dog to be taken away from its owner or put down.
The dog that bit you could be a beloved family pet, which is why it’s important to have an attorney talk to the dog owner. Once the dog owner moves past their initial anger toward your claim, they’ll understand that an injury settlement is in everyone’s best interests.
Our dog bite attorneys in Grand Rapids and Ionia are ready to help you win the compensation you deserve. To request a legal consultation, please call Peterson Paletta Balice or fill out our online contact form.