Seeking Compensation for a Dog Bite Injury: 5 Roadblocks You Might Face

Dogs are, without a doubt, the most popular type of pets in the world. Even in the US, many love having dogs as their pets.
According to the (APPA), 65.1 million US households own a dog. Compared to this, only 46.5 million US households own a cat.
While owning a dog seems fun and easy at first, it gets progressively difficult over time. Rising inflation rates are a major concern for any dog owner. According to USA Today, dog owners spend around $376 per month on their dogs on average. As inflation rates go up, the spending on dogs is also expected to go up.
There’s also the issue that a dog can end up biting another person and injuring them. This, in turn, usually means that the dog’s owner will have to pay compensation for the dog bite injury. However, not all dog bite cases go in favor of the victim. A dog bite victim often has to face several obstacles along the way when filing and fighting their dog bite claim.

If you, too, fall victim to a dog bite incident and want to seek compensation, here are some obstacles you might face:

#1 Ownership Disputes

One of the primary roadblocks you might face when seeking compensation for a dog bite injury is an ownership dispute. The dog owner may deny responsibility, claiming they weren't present when the incident occurred. In some cases, the owner might even deny owning the dog altogether.
To overcome this roadblock, gather evidence such as witness statements and photographs of the dog and the scene of the incident. Look for any proof linking the dog to its owner, such as licensing or registration records.

#2 Lack of Insurance Coverage

Even if you establish the dog owner's liability, another common roadblock is the lack of insurance coverage. Some homeowner's insurance policies do provide coverage for dog bite injuries. However, some policies exclude certain breeds or have liability limits that may not fully compensate you for your damages.
If the dog owner doesn't have insurance, you may need to explore other avenues for compensation, like filing a lawsuit against the owner personally. Before filing a lawsuit or even asking for compensation, you need to remember one major thing.
According to expertise shared by New Jersey dog bite lawyer Daniel Sloan, you must first determine whether or not you’re entitled to remuneration. That means you should get in touch with a lawyer to confirm that your dog bite injuries deserve to be compensated.
Also, Sloan Law Firm notes that if you want to seek legal assistance, do it immediately after the injury. That’s because a lot of states won’t allow you to file dog bite claims after a certain time.

#3 Contributory Negligence

In some jurisdictions, your compensation for a dog bite injury may be reduced or even denied. This can happen if you're found to have contributed to the incident in any way.

For example, if you provoked the dog or trespassed on the owner's property, you might be considered partially at fault for the attack. As told by the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs often tend to bite when they feel scared, startled, or threatened. These things can happen if you provoke them.
To counter claims of contributory negligence, it's essential to demonstrate that you were acting reasonably and lawfully at the time of the incident. This could involve proving that you were on public property or legally on the owner's premises and did not provoke the dog.

#4 Complex Legal Procedures

Navigating the legal process for obtaining compensation can be complex, especially if you're dealing with physical and emotional trauma from the dog bite. From gathering evidence to negotiating with insurance companies, there are numerous legal procedures involved, and any misstep could jeopardize your case. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in dog bite cases can help alleviate this roadblock.

#5 Inadequate Documentation of Damages

To recover damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses, you must provide evidence of the extent and impact of your injuries. This may include medical records, bills, pay stubs, and testimony from medical experts or mental health professionals.
Keeping detailed records of your treatment and expenses from the moment of the incident onward can strengthen your claim. Doing so can also help ensure that you receive fair compensation for your losses.

In conclusion, when it comes to navigating dog bite cases, there are several roadblocks that you must face. As you can tell from our discussion, dealing with these roadblocks often gets challenging. However, with the right approach and legal support behind you, overcoming these obstacles will become much easier. 

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Posted - 02/26/2024