It is always smarter to hire a lawyer to handle a dog bite injury claim than it is for a victim to try to settle a claim on his own. Nearly five million Americans are bitten by a dog every year, though only about 15,000 of them receive compensation for their injury. That is because many of them do not file a claim at all out of fear that it won’t be worth it, or they try to handle it on their own to avoid paying a legal fee. These victims do not realize that having a lawyer makes the process quicker, easier, and often more financially satisfactory.
This especially goes for adults acting on behalf of their injured child.
The Advantages of Hiring a Dog Bite Lawyer
Anybody who tries to settle a legal claim on his own will have to face procedures that he knows nothing about. A child victim’s parents may say or do things incorrectly or rashly, endangering the positive outcome of their claim.
A lawyer can handle a dog bite case without confronting, harassing, or embarrassing the dog owner. A skillful lawyer does not try to force the dog to be killed or threaten the dog owner in any way. Having a lawyer handle your case can make the dog owner realize that the parents are only acting in the child’s best interests and will not have the feeling that he is being judged unnecessarily harshly.
At least 98% of the time, a lawyer can successfully settle a case without having to go to court. A court case can become stressful for both the child victim and her parents and may add unneeded trauma to an already traumatizing situation. A lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies to get the amount of compensation the child’s injury deserves, whereas a parent acting on his own will not know how much to shoot for and may then accept too small of an amount.
If the child’s medical bills are paid for by health insurance or public assistance, there will be third-party claims to deal with, which an attorney has experience handling. There are also some cases where insurance companies and government agencies are not legally allowed to collect any payments from injured people—laws most people don’t know about, but which a lawyer does. Most parents don’t know what kind of information to give an insurance company that offers an appropriate amount of proof that a child’s injury is worth a certain amount. A lawyer knows exactly how to handle these situations and can help the parent avoid a delayed process and an unsatisfactory settlement.
There are some cases where the injury in question could also warrant compensation to the child’s parents for pain and suffering or medical costs in addition to the child’s damages. A lawyer will know if such additional payment is worth fighting for and can also make sure that the child’s payment will be placed in an annuity that can most benefit the child in the future. Some annuities allow insurance companies to take a percentage of the child’s compensation out of the blocked bank account or structured settlement fund that the damages were placed into. A lawyer will avoid this happening if possible.
If your child was bitten by a dog, you will need an experienced lawyer to handle the child’s case to ensure the best possible outcome. Call experienced personal injury attorney Nick Ortiz at 850-898-9904 to discuss a potential claim.