Areas of Practice
Ridgecrest Dog Attack Attorney
The First Things to Do After Being Attacked
It is important to identify the animal that attacked you.
If it is a stray and you are not able to identify it, you are facing the possibility of having to submit to treatment for rabies, which can be painful. Also, if you were attacked by a dog or any wild animal being kept by somebody, you probably are qualified to receive compensation by the dog’s owner.
You may possibly really need that compensation to pay your medical charges, reimburse you for lost revenue, cover cosmetic surgery down the road, as well as make it easier to conquer the pain and being affected by your injuries.
After that, get medical assistance.
You will be in very good company, because 1,000 Americans arrive in emergency rooms every single day of the entire year as a result of dog attacks alone!
If you are harmed on the face, insist on treatment by a cosmetic surgeon because emergency room doctors are excellent at keeping people alive but not always the very best at making stitches and injuries look good.
After that, make sure to follow the instructions from the physician and take all of the prescriptions that are prescribed (except for the painkillers, which often are usually your discretion).
You might also be required to remain out of the sunshine, use sunscreen, use scar reduction ointment, change bandages, report for follow up treatment, report for removing stitches, massage the recovering zones, etc. If so, do it!
The decision as to whether you need rabies shots needs to be left to your doctor. Shots are not always called for, because rabies may not be in your geographic location. Don’t be frightened if your physician tells you that you don’t need this uncomfortable treatment.
If you have been injured in a Ridgecrest Animal Attack, please contact us now for a free, confidential assessment with a skilled Ridgecrest Dog Bite attorney.
If the animal owner is insured, you might get a phone call from an insurance provider representative.
You should question him or her for the following information:
- Name of insurance carrier
- Address of his or her company
- Telephone number
- Claim number
- Name of the individual who is covered by insurance
- The amount of money available to pay medical costs (not everything, just medical charges)
Take note of the following:
- Do not discuss money, payment of money, settlement, personal injury value or whatever else concerning money.
- Do not set up a consultation.
- Do not write a letter or a memo.
- Do not allow yourself to be tape recorded.
- Do not allow the victim to be photographed.
- Do not talk about who is liable.
- Do not accept any money.
Ways to Protect Your Rights
A dog attack victim needs to do the following things to preserve his or her rights:
- Identify the dog. In an extremely serious case, this could entail getting and analyzing a DNA sample, which will call for an attorney’s involvement.
- Get the name and address of the owner of the dog, when possible. If you can, acquire the dog license details.
- Get the name, address and telephone number of any potential witnesses. You might have to return to the accident scene, and knock on the doors of nearby homes and companies.
You also should revisit the scene of the incident a couple of times at the same time at which the accident took place, because individuals might have a habit of visiting the same places as section of their daily routine.
- Take pictures of all of your wounds, bruises and bloody garments.
- If possible, attain insurance information from the dog owner.
- If skin was lacerated or worse, or in the event the injury was to the facial area, or if the victim was a young child, you can and should consult a lawyer at no cost.
- Get your lawyer started while the info is fresh! The details of your claim need to be proven; the level of your injuries must be recognized.
As apparent as the facts and wounds may be to you, they will not likely be obvious to an insurance adjuster sitting at a desk in an office building a few weeks or months following your attack.
On top of that, doctors are keen on curing you than proving the type and severity of your injuries to an insurance provider, so the proper documentation has to be asked for from them at the suitable times.
Your lawyer will obtain the necessary evidence and monitor your medical treatment, so the insurance adjuster will understand exactly what took place, and will ensure that you get an adequate amount of money, when possible.
- Retain your attorney before doing any proceeding involving the dog! The laws of most cities, counties and states make it possible for local authorities to determine whether a dog is unsafe and, in that case, the fate of the dog.
Often this is referred to as a “dangerous dog hearing,” but it goes by additional names as well. Because “dog court” procedures may accidentally compromise the victim’s legal rights.
She should never speak with animal control authorities until her lawyer compares the city and county ordinances, obtains the department’s commitment as to which laws and procedures they will be following, and is satisfied that the concerns addressed will be resolved fairly.
If the victim receives a subpoena, her testimony is essential, making it even more necessary to immediately talk to with an attorney — because a subpoena must be followed, to its letter.
If you have been seriously injured in a Ridgecrest Animal Bite, please give us a call now for a no fee, private assessment with an experienced Ridgecrest Dog Attack lawyer.
The victim must never do the following:
- Do not sign anything! Yes, you normally can sign the medical center entrance papers (given that you were not bitten in the medical center itself). However, sign absolutely nothing presented by any insurance company, the owner of the dog, or the property manager or other owner of the property where the assault took place.
- Do not write to, or make a report for, any insurance company, dog owner, or landlord or other property owner.
- Do not hesitate to consult an attorney! There are laws called “statutes of limitations.” They say that you eliminate all of your rights unless you report a court case within a specific time-frame after sustaining a bodily injury. Therefore, call an attorney as soon as possible.
The Dog Bite Victim’s Right to a Lawyer
A dog attack victim may incur numerous different kinds of damages and losses, from medical payments and mental injury, to loss of the chance to earn income in the future because of disfigurement.
A victim may be entitled to get back these losses from another person and that person’s insurance company, provided that the victim provides the necessary resistant, first to the insurance company and then perhaps in a court of law.
There are two sets of laws the victim needs to follow, particularly those spelling out who is accountable for the injuries and losses, and those imposing strict rules of data and procedure to establish that liability.
Parents have special things to consider if their children are harmed.
A hurt person and his or her family are not emotionally capable of vigorously enforcing their rights. The biggest task they confront is making sure the victim heals. In death cases, the family members grieve; it does not obtain evidence and prepare legal briefs.
In cases short of death, the victim and his or her family must be positive, so the tendency is to minimize the suffering, even ignore it as much as possible. Nevertheless, it is there, and it may be there for quite a long time — permanently, if wounds turn into ugly scars. Therefore, a vigorous advocate is a must.
An attorney with experience in representing persons with these types of injuries brings value to your claim.
He or she has analyzed the results of dog attack injuries, how to accumulate the information vital to completely prove not only what took place in the past but also what the future effects will be, the strategies and procedures of insurance providers when dealing with major instances like these, and how to properly review these cases to ensure that the victims receive exactly what they deserve.
A lawyer with experience has the capacity to objectively analyze both the strengths and the weaknesses of a lawsuit. Furthermore, an attorney is the only person that can turn a claim into a lawsuit if you are not being treated fairly.
Without the threat of a lawsuit, you are at the mercy of the insurance carrier.
Furthermore, the treatments frequently followed by animal control departments in “dog court” proceedings could accidentally compromise the victim’s rights.
A victim and her loved ones consequently must not speak with animal control authorities until her lawyer reviews the city and county ordinances, obtains the department’s determination as to which laws and techniques they will be following, and is content that the issues dealt with somewhere else in Dog Bite Law will be solved reasonably.
If you have been seriously injured in a Ridgecrest Animal Bite, please give us a call now for a free, private assessment with a knowledgeable Ridgecrest Dog Bite attorney.
The Challenges of Not Retaining a Lawyer
If you are working with the insurance firm without a lawyer, then, as seriously as you are taking your injuries, the insurance carrier isn’t — there is no doubt of that.
Others with equivalent injuries have retained attorneys to show their claims to that very same insurance carrier. One point that all those individuals have in common is an attitude of seriousness about what happened to them, and a driving wish to ensure they are treated fairly.
The insurance firm pays the right amount to those people, but not people who don’t take the first step of guarding their privileges by holding onto a lawyer.
The person at the insurance company that you are working with (called the “adjuster”) might well seem to be honest and sympathetic — a very, good person, a patient person. However, he or she needs to report to others you will never talk to.
He or she reports to a supervisor, a lawsuits examiner, a local supervisor, and eventually the corporate office. The adjuster is paid an income and has a family. He or she wants to continue working for that company, and maybe get a raise and a promotion.
NONE of that will be risked for you. Even if the adjuster hopes to assist you, because of some relationship that you feel has developed among the both of you, you will not always be handled fairly by the supervisor, claims examiner, regional manager, and corporate office.
These people are not familiar with you. To them, you are absolutely nothing but a person without a lawyer. You are not dealing with the adjuster, you are dealing with a faceless corporation.
To that corporation you are nothing but a file, a legal responsibility, an individual that needs money that otherwise would be distributed to the shareholders as profit.
If you do not retain a lawyer, you’re on your own, against all those people at the insurance firm, and all of its attorneys. When was the last time that you heard a happy ending to that story?
The prices of creating a lawsuit are frequently somewhat small, when compared to the amount of money which will be received. In an normal claim, they may come to between $1000 and $2000.
However, cases that are being arranged for trial end up being very expensive — tens of thousands of dollars. Fortunately only 2% of claims actually go to trial, so there is no major chance of the prices “consuming up” the recovery.
It needs to be noted that the contingency fee system is uniquely American and that it has been under attack in recent years.
Because it enables normal people to get legal help, the corporate world — insurance agencies and other industries — may be attempting to pass laws to abolish or cripple it.
These laws take numerous various forms, such as an arbitrary limit on the amount that a victim’s lawyer may charge. Note that only the victim’s attorney will be subject to any limitation, while the insurance industry’s lawyers would continue to not just charge their usual hourly rates but also rely upon the vast monetary coffers of their rich clients.
The tort system exists for the benefit of ordinary individuals as opposed to the interests of the business world, and consequently the program and its critical players (the victims and their attorneys) regularly experience attacks and constantly must fight for their rights.
If you have been injured in a Ridgecrest Animal Attack, please contact us today for a complimentary, confidential assessment with a knowledgeable Ridgecrest Dog Bite lawyer.