If you were bitten by a dog and are wondering whether you have a valid case that may entitle you to compensation, your Hollis dog bite injury lawyer would be happy to determine this for you. When a pet owner willingly allows their dog to roam freely or neglects to keep their dog under control, they may be held financially liable if their pet bites an adult or child.
If you have not already done so, you might consider filing a police report so that the incident is properly documented. Let the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP review the details of the incident to determine if you are entitled to bring a claim against the dog owner’s insurance company or file a personal injury lawsuit directly against the pet’s owner.
Why hire a Hollis Dog Bite Ijury Lawyer?
If you have a valid claim, yet the insurer believes otherwise, your lawyer can help you prove liability. They will gather the evidence needed to show the dog owner either allowed their dangerous dog to harm you or neglected to keep it under control, which led to you getting bitten. Also, an attorney with our firm can help you understand how much you are entitled to in compensation and pursue the carrier for this amount.
Should you Hire Representation if the Insurance Company Offers you a Settlement?
Because most dog bite injury victims are not entirely sure of how to value their claim, they often assume that the amount the insurer offers is the maximum amount they are entitled to. But this is not always the case. In fact, it is likely the insurance company may have presented you with a low-ball settlement offer or failed to take into account some of the expenses you incurred when the adjuster valued the claim.
In some cases, they may even deny your claim altogether.
Instead of you walking away with an unfair settlement, the lawyers at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP will check to be sure the amount offered is reasonable and fair. In the event it is not, we will not hesitate to challenge the insurer’s offer to reach a fair outcome.
Suing a Pet Owner After Being Bitten by Their Dog
When insurance coverage is not available, or a pet owner does not have enough coverage to pay your medical expenses and any other covered expenses you incurred as a result of the incident, you may be entitled to sue the pet owner. Suing a pet owner is much different than filing an insurance claim against their carrier.
We will present your case before a judge, and it could potentially go to trial if the pet owner does not want to settle with you. A lawyer with our firm will be familiar with the laws that apply to your case and will handle the complicated tasks associated with the lawsuit process.
If you are thinking about suing a pet owner, you will want to remain aware of the statute of limitations that apply to personal injury cases. In most instances, an injury victim is only given three years from the date of the incident to come forward with their lawsuit under New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (CVP) §214. If you do not file within this timeframe, you risk losing your right to take any legal action at all.
How Insurance is Relevant in a Dog Bite Case
Generally, when a dog bites a person, they are entitled to file a claim with the pet owner’s homeowner’s insurance carrier. The Insurance Information Institute (III) affirms that renter’s insurance companies might also cover dog bite injuries in some cases. While the insurance coverage might be available, that does not always mean you are eligible to receive it.
Before an insurance company will provide you with any financial relief and pay your medical bills, the adjuster assigned to the claim will first assess whether you have a valid case. They will review your statement along with the pet owner’s statement to determine how the incident occurred and whether or not the policy should cover your injury. If the carrier decides it is not liable for the incident, then you will not be eligible to recover compensation.
What Factors Influence the Outcome of a Dog Bite Injury Case?
Whether you decide to file a claim with the pet owner’s insurance company or file a personal injury lawsuit directly against the pet owner, some factors could impact the outcome of your case. For instance, if you were trespassing or provoking the dog, then the court or insurance company will factor this into their decision regarding whether you should be awarded compensation or not.
How Your Life Changes Could Affect Your Award
Aside from your role, the court or insurer will also consider the degree of your injury and how it impacts your ability to live life. For example, if you suffered a severe dog bite injury, it could lead to scarring. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) states that when a person suffers a scar, the “change in appearance can negatively affect body image and self-confidence.”
An individual may not be able to live their life the way they once used to, or they may struggle with certain types of mental issues due to the scar the dog bite left them with.
Contact an Attorney if You Were Bitten and Injured By a Dog in Hollis
A dog becomes an issue when a pet owner fails to properly restrain their dog or control them around other people. If you are ready to begin taking action against a pet owner whose dog bit you or a loved one, contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP at (516) 358-6900.
We will help you understand your legal rights and determine if your injuries warrant compensation. The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin working on your case to ensure you have a chance to file within the statute of limitations.
For a free legal consultation with a dog bite lawyer serving Hollis, call 516-358-6900