Americans love their pets, as evidenced by the fact that the U.S. dog population stands at about 65 million. Every year, roughly 5 million people are bitten by dogs, and 800,000 of those bites result in a visit to the doctor or emergency room; 15 to 20 of the dog bite victims die annually.
While dog violence against people pales in relation to the violence we perpetrate on each other, a dog bite can be a traumatic experience and shouldn’t happen. If you or your loved one has been the victim of a dog bite, you may be entitled to compensation with the help of a Phoenix dog bite lawyer.
More than a third of all homeowners’ insurance liability claims are for dog bites, the Insurance Information Institute (III) reports. State Farm, a provider of homeowner’s insurance, says they paid out in excess of $136 million dollars in one year for nearly 4,500 dog bite claims. Half of all dog bite victims are children.
It’s primarily a matter of responsible pet ownership: well-trained and well-socialized dogs usually don’t bite. Obedience training and teaching the dog to get along with a variety of people of all ages is important. Nevertheless, any dog is capable of biting when provoked, and who’s to say what a dog might find provocative.
Most canines seem to feel provoked at the sight of a mail carrier breaching the boundaries of their yard, so it is important that owners not only train and socialize their pets, but also restrain them appropriately, especially when the mail truck or tradesperson is due to arrive.
In 2012, 5879 mail carriers were bitten in the line of duty by dogs. All dogs, even the gentlest and best trained among them, need to be carefully supervised around young children. A pet owner who fails to take these precautions could be found negligent if a bite occurs.
If you or someone in your family has been bitten by a dog, see a doctor and call animal services to report the bite. They will assign an animal control officer to determine if the dog has had all the necessary vaccines, especially for rabies. If not, the dog will usually be quarantined for ten days to make sure it is healthy.
You may receive a call from the dog owner’s insurance company requesting a recorded statement and medical authorizations, or offering a token payment in exchange for a full release. Don’t sign or record anything, and terminate the contact politely but firmly, referring the adjuster to your Phoenix personal injury lawyer.
If the bite was serious, you should arrange a consultation with a personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Curiel and Runion in Phoenix handle dog bite claims throughout Maricopa County. We have the experience and negotiating skill to get you the best possible settlement as compensation for your present and future medical expenses, your physical pain and suffering, as well as any emotional or psychological trauma associated with the attack. If the insurance company doesn’t come through with an adequate settlement offer, we’ll be fully prepared to take your case to trial and let a jury decide it.
When you come to our office to discuss your case, you’ll meet face to face with your lawyer, not a secretary or legal assistant. We will keep you informed throughout the process, return your phone calls and emails, and involve you in the decision-making process every step of the way.
Because we accept dog bite and other personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, you’ll never make a payment until we’ve won money for you. If we don’t win, you pay nothing.
Contact us today, because Arizona restricts the amount of time you have to file a claim.