Dog bites can be devastating. Like most people, I view our dogs as part of the family. Our dogs are well socialized. Unfortunately, in our office, we often see the devastating consequences that can result from dog bites. We’ve seen injuries ranging from scars which our clients will bear on their faces for the rest of their lives, to wounds so deep that muscle and ligaments were exposed. Needless to say, the bites and the resulting medical treatment are painful. However, being attacked by a dog can be tremendously scary, particularly if the victim is a child or an elderly person.
In the United States, nearly eight hundred thousand people a year suffer injuries from dog bites and animal attacks that are significantly enough to require medical treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children are particularly vulnerable. Of the dog bite victims needing medical attention, half are children. Children between the ages of five and nine years old experience the most bites according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Some bites while painful, require little recovery time. Others, though, cause damage to the muscles, broken bones, and serious disfigurement. Victims with serious injuries may face numerous physical therapy sessions and multiple surgeries. Sometimes, neurological damage can occur as a result of compression of the tissue from a hard bite.
Children, particularly those with facial scars, may have to suffer through a number of scar revision surgeries as they grow up. Children may have to endure teasing and undesired attention from their peers in school as a result of these scars until such time as they can have them surgically improved. Some scars can’t be eliminated completely.
People who go through the traumatic experience of being bitten by a dog deserve to be fairly compensated for their medical bills and the pain they’ve suffered.
The most likely source for that compensation is the homeowner’s insurance policy of the dog owner and anyone who has dealt with an insurance company knows that the company would rather keep the money in its pocket than put it into yours.
For most people, dealing with an insurance company after dog bite or a car accident is a new, unfamiliar, and uncomfortable experience. That’s why we have written this book. It’s intended to serve as a reference tool that can help you deal with insurance companies and understand the nuances of dog-bite law.
We think this book is necessary because you are at a natural disadvantage when you deal with insurance adjusters who handle claims for a living. They do it every day and all day. In a nut shell, they are professionals and you are not. It has nothing to do with how smart or successful or aggressive you are in other areas of your life. Insurance adjusters have the advantage because they settle claims for a living. They do not get promoted at work for handing out large settlements to victims. They are rewarded for keeping the figures they pay on claims low and paying as little as possible to save the insurance company money. This book has been written because we believe that knowledge is power. If you have any questions about a dog bite incident in which you, a family member, or a friend have been injured, please feel free to give us a call at 215-576-5150 (Phila. area) or toll free at 1-866-644-2389. You can also visit our website at www.worthingtonlawgroup.com.