Robert L. Sears, Accepting cases throughout WA State 253-286-7444 rob@searsinjurylaw.com

Recently, we’ve had the pleasure of helping several clients with very unfortunate dog bite cases. Unlike car crash claims where it’s well known that the other driver’s auto insurance will pay, dog bite cases have their own complexities.

Who pays my medical bills?

This is one of the first questions that come to mind from our clients after they’ve been bitten. They’re hurt, in pain, and need to be sure they can get care and proper vaccinations, but who do they send the bills to? While the dog may not have been friendly, we know for sure that it won’t be writing checks for your bills.

The first thing our office will do is locate coverage for the dog owner, typically through a homeowners or rental insurance policy. We’ll then open the claim and get to work on documenting your injuries, scars, and being sure we have opinions from doctors about what it would take to revise any scarring. We work with plastic surgeons in the area who can see you and provide quotes for future care, which we use to seek higher dollar values for in your case.

How does the process work?

Similar to car accident cases, we work on contingency fee agreement, which means there is no risk in hiring us- we don’t get paid until we win your case. You can focus on healing, getting back to life, and letting us handle the heavy lifting that leads to successful resolution.

What kinds of injuries do your clients typically suffer from dog bites?

The obvious injuries clients sustain in dog bite cases are the physical- bite marks, cuts, abrasions, and the need to endure vaccinations after getting bit. The not-so obvious injuries and damages in your case may involve fear, PTSD, loss of enjoyment of life, and other damages below the surface. We highly recommend that you seek care for your injuries, including mental and emotional care.

If I make a claim, will the dog be killed?

The short answer is that it depends. If the dog already has a reputation as a dangerous animal, it is much more likely to be put down so it doesn’t cause the same injuries to another adult or child.

Making of a claim on the homeowners or renters policy of the owner won’t impact the dog being put down, and our office rarely, if ever, directs the authorities to put the dog down. Insurance is a service that people pay for to protect them in times of need or distress, and if you’ve been bitten, now is your time to make use of the coverage of the owner.

What are my next steps?

We recommend that anyone who has been bitten immediately take photos of their injuries to preserve the full damage done, even after your wounds begin to heal. Please reach out to us today for a free case evaluation and consultation, with steps on what you should do next with your dog bite case.

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