Dog attacks are terrifying, even if you don’t get bitten. It makes you feel like you’re the wildebeest chased down by lions on a nature show. Sadly, the most fearsome aspects of many dog bites are the disfiguring scars and emotional trauma victims can be left with forever after a pet turned predator gets his fill of you.
It’s especially bad when the victim is a child.
Luckily, South Carolina law offers the potential for compensation from the dog's owners and keepers to pay for these attacks.
The first hurdle is finding out if there’s insurance to cover it. It’s usually the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy, but that doesn’t make it easy to get a proper settlement. Here’s why it’s a good idea to hire an experienced dog bite attorney to help you:
- You’re an amateur confronting a multi-billion dollar insurance company that makes money by cheating you. So you’re thinking that you’re dealing with a business that makes nice commercials about helping people, like State Farm, Allstate, GEICO or Progressive—surely they just want to help you, right? Wrong. Their claim representative is a professional who’s trained to get them off cheap. And oh yeah, they have attorneys, too.
- You don’t know the right settlement amount to aim for—and it could be way more than you think. Valuing a case is a complex science based on many factors. Critical factors that can make the value of a dog attack case change dramatically include future plastic surgery to fix scarring, emotional harm, and whether your case has the potential for punitive damages.
- You don’t know how to negotiate with the insurance company. Negotiating with an insurance company is just bizarre to most folks. I’ve represented businesspeople who negotiate for a living but just can’t understand it. In the face of shockingly low offers and totally unfounded reasons given for them, you’ve got to keep a cool head and not get emotionally involved. That’s extremely hard when you’re the victim. It just naturally clouds your judgment in a decision with potentially lifelong implications. An experienced attorney leaves you out of these intense conversations to forge a clear path to resolving your case.
- You don’t know how to develop a compelling presentation to convince the insurance company to settle. All injury case negotiation is geared toward one thing: you can prove it at trial. If you don’t know what to prove or how to prove it under the rules of evidence, prepare to walk away almost empty-handed with no one to blame but you.
- You don’t know how to handle medical evidence. To get a good settlement, you’ve got to handle medical evidence the right way. It can drive your settlement amount, but you’ve got to know what’s important. It’s vital to investigate and present future medical needs the right way. With future plastic surgery and ongoing counseling as part of your life, a skilled attorney can help get you a settlement to cover it.
- For children, you don’t know the legal options for protecting them. We don’t just give children settlement money so they can blow it—but the court system also has stringent requirements on how parents handle it, too. Luckily, children’s settlements are structured to have the children’s best interests in mind. An experienced attorney can offer you options as parents to protect your children beyond the law. And to get the settlement, you’re going to present the case in court to convince a judge to approve it anyway, so you should hire an attorney to protect your child’s right to an acceptable settlement in the first place.
Don’t Give the Insurance Company What They Want
Here’s the bottom line on why you should hire an attorney for your dog bite case: you’re no threat to the insurance company. There’s no threat you’ll know how to ask for a proper settlement or file a lawsuit if they refuse to pay. Unrepresented victims make them lick their chops, just like the dog who attacked you. It’s bad enough you or someone you loved got hurt. Don’t make it worse by wasting your time or messing up your case with simple mistakes amateurs often make.
To get your questions answered about your dog attack case, call toll free at 888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form. Get to know what it’s like to work with us by reading these reviews on a website we don’t own.