If a dog bites you, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from their owner under Virginia’s dog bite laws. Unfortunately, you could make mistakes that hurt your claim if you are not careful. Here are some critical errors that dog bite victims make that you want to avoid making.
#1: Not Getting Contact Information for the Owner
You should obtain the owner's and insurance company's contact information right after the dog attack. If you do not get this information, you will not be able to file a claim for the compensation you deserve with the insurance company. You should also obtain the contact information of any witnesses to the dog attack so they can provide you with a written statement.
#2: Not Reporting the Dog Bite to Local Authorities
You need to call the police and the local animal control authorities after being bitten. If you do not do this, the dog owner and their insurance company could dispute that the owner’s dog bit you, and you would lose an essential piece of evidence to refute their claim.
#3: Not Getting Prompt Medical Care
Seek medical care right away after the dog attack. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, you should be examined by a doctor within 72 hours of the dog bite. This protects your health and avoids disputes with the insurance company about the cause of your injuries.
#4: Not Taking Pictures
You could lose important evidence that can help you win your case if you fail to take pictures of the dog, the scene of the dog attack, and your injuries right after you were bitten. If you are too hurt to take the photos yourself, ask a bystander to take them with your cellphone camera.
#5: Accepting a Quick Settlement
Do not make the mistake of accepting the insurance company’s first offer to settle your claim. You may not know how serious your injuries are, and the offer could be for far less compensation than you deserve. You should never settle your claim without first consulting with a skilled premises liability attorney.
#6: Not Hiring a Lawyer
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not to hire an attorney as soon as possible after the dog bite. A lawyer will collect the evidence you need to prove your case and go up against the insurance company for the compensation you are entitled to under Virginia law.
Did a dog bite you in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk area? Our experienced premises liability lawyers are here to answer your questions and help you obtain the maximum recovery in your settlement. Call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 or complete our online form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.