The Idaho Dog Bite Guide was created by Hepworth Holzer to help individuals and obtain maximum compensation for their claim.
Steps to Take After the Dog Bite
Ideally, you will have authorities come onto the scene to make a report about the dog attack. Animal control can help you with the report. You may be able to figure out on the scene of the dog attack whether or not the dog is up to date on all of its vaccines, which is going to be useful information for you when you head off to seek medical care.
You need to get evidence from the site of the dog attack and you also need to get medical treatment. If you were so badly hurt by the vicious dog that you are unable to stay on the site to collect evidence, you can call on someone to help you get the evidence that you need. That can be a friend, family member, or in some cases, Boise dog bite lawyers will come collect evidence for you. Getting photos and videos of the site, the dog, the property, dog owner and your injuries is going to be helpful to your lawyers when they get started on building your case.
Some injuries cannot wait for evidence collection. If you suspect you have severe damage or you believe the dog had rabies, you probably want to get to the emergency room as soon as humanly possible. Dog bites can cause nerve, tissue and muscle damage, as well. They can scar you. In that case, seeing a plastic surgeon isn’t a bad idea to try to minimize the scarring, especially if it’s in a high visibility spot like your face or hands. Don’t hesitate to get medical treatment. All of the costs you incur because of the treatment needed to return you to normal health after the dog bite is included in your compensation award.
Biggest Mistakes Dog Bite Victims Make
The first big mistake we see clients make all the time is that they give the insurance company a recorded statement. When the insurance company is asked to give dog bite victims full and fair compensation, they try to save themselves money, which often means they get a recorded statement from you to try to guide you into saying something that will greatly devalue your claim. Instead of letting the insurance company steal ammunition from you to use against you, let your Boise dog bite lawyers handle them for you.
Another big mistake dog bite victims make is they don’t pursue legal justice unless it’s too late. You may be considering whether or not you want to bring a claim. You may think that it’s a hassle, costs a lot of money, or that you would be directly suing your friend whose dog hurt you.
First, dog bite claims shouldn’t be viewed as a hassle. They are made easy by Boise dog bite lawyers who know how to handle these types of claims. You won’t have to worry about how to win a case when you are represented by a lawyer who has done this numerous times.
Second, dog bite claims don’t cost you a penny unless you win the claim. Your Boise dog bite lawyer will work on a contingency fee.
Lastly, you’re not going to be asking your friend whose dog bit you to shell out the compensation award from their pocket. The insurance company is there to cover your damages. That is why people have insurance, for cases like yours.
An early, free consultation with Boise dog bite lawyers can help you make a plan to have a successful cse. It is going to set you up for success if you get in touch with an experienced lawyer right off the bat. You don’t want to try to do this alone when you could lean on someone who knows what they’re doing. By working with a lawyer, you can avoid making the mistakes that would have ruined your chance at getting the results you deserve.
After a Dog Bite Injury
Once somebody’s been bitten by a dog, the first thing that should happen is getting medical care and get immediate follow up. After that, people often wonder, “What is the next thing that I should do?” What I encourage you to do is get a hold of a skilled trial attorney to talk about your situation. Dog bite situations can be surprisingly complex based on where it is, who has the dog, what type of dog it was, and what exactly precipitated the dog bite, if anything. Was it an unprecipitated attack? All those things are important in ultimately evaluating the case. I encourage you to talk to an experienced Idaho trial attorney about your dog bite claim before you talk to the insurance company. It might be the individual’s homeowner’s insurance company or it might be some commercial insurance company that’s involved that deals with the dog bite case.
You want to understand your situation before you get involved with the folks on the other side. The folks on the other side aren’t there to help you. That insurance company who represents the owner of the dog is not there to help you, and they’re not looking for information that will assist you. They’re looking for information to use against you, as a general rule, and you need to be careful about talking to them. You need to be prepared before you talk to them, so before you head down that route, give us a call so we can discuss your situation and make sure that you know what you want to do to move forward with your dog bite case.
Dog Owner Doesn’t Have Insurance
Often, one of the problems in a dog bite case is that the owner of the dog doesn’t have insurance. Usually, the insurance that applies to a dog bite case in Idaho will be homeowner’s insurance. If you have a renter who has a dog and who doesn’t have renter’s insurance, or somebody who is just not living in or covered by any homeowner’s insurance, you have this situation where there is no insurance coverage. For a renter, sometimes you can actually get past the renter to the landlord if the landlord had a certain amount of knowledge about the dog or the dog’s propensity or the history of the dog in causing damage to others. It’s often difficult to get there, but sometimes you can get there, and you need an attorney involved in that case to deal with it.
Unless the person who owns the dog and who doesn’t have insurance has some personal assets that you can recover from, there is often no place to actually recover the real damages. These cases can be sad and tough, but we’re happy to talk to you about yours if you want to give us a call.
Dog Bite Case Value
A natural question in any personal injury claim, including a dog bite claim in Idaho, centers on the value of the claim. What sort of compensation can be expected? What is the settlement going to be, or what would a jury verdict be? The answer to that is it varies based on what the scope of the damages are. How bad did the dog injure you? Is it a simple puncture wound, or is it an attack on the face of a 14-year-old girl that leaves lifelong scarring? Is it a bite on the calf? What are the damages? Those damages will be part of the equation.
There are other parts of the equation involved in the value of a claim. How did it impact you? The same physical injury might cause different emotional injuries or different reactive injuries for different people. Somebody who has just recovered from a surgery, who’s been bedridden, and all of a sudden gets attacked and is bedridden again after a dog attack might have a greater claim for emotional damages than somebody whose dog attack doesn’t really put them down because they start from a position of greater strength than the other person.
All these things are factors that are part of assessing what the value of the case is. There are the issues that are simple, including the economic losses and medical expenses. It’s the non-economic losses— the parts related to the joy of life and the pleasure in living— that are more complex parts of the damages claim that you need to have a good Idaho trial attorney help you evaluate in any specific situation. The way to get that done is to start the process by giving us a call so we can discuss your Idaho dog bite case and see if we can help you move forward with it.
Dog Bite Settlement Timeline
The question of how quickly a dog bite case in Idaho can be resolved is one that depends on lots of factors. When we look at how quickly the case can be resolved, one of the issues is how bad the dog bite was. How long is the recovery? Is there a substantial wound that needs lots of intervention, that has to have wound care? Is it some puncture wounds that are minor? Is it a facial wound that requires plastic surgery? These types of questions of what is the scope of the damages that this dog bite case in Idaho led to are one of the things that really drives how long the case takes. It’s not until your injuries are ready to be dealt with that you really start the case and figure out how to move forward with the case and learn whether you can resolve the case without suit or, ultimately, you have to file suit.
If you can’t resolve the case without filing suit, there’s only two ways the insurance company pays you for the losses that you’ve incurred in your dog bite in Idaho: through agreement or if a jury tells them what to do. If there’s not an agreement that you are comfortable with before suit, you have to file that lawsuit and go through the litigation process of the personal injury lawsuit until you get to either a point where they will pay sufficient enough that you’re comfortable with and that you make the decision to accept or you go to the jury and the jury makes that decision. Based on where in the process that ultimate decision is made will drive how long the case takes in the long run.
How long will your Idaho dog bite case take? It depends. It depends on a lot of things. We can help you understand that better if you just give us a call to discuss your situation.
Beware of Dog Signs
I was speaking with a potential client about a dog bite case the other day, and that person was telling me that they were delivering a package to a house with a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign on the gate. They were at work doing their job delivering a package, and they thought, “Well, I got attacked by the dog while I was up on the porch dropping the box off, but because of that ‘Beware of Dog’ sign, I don’t have a claim, do I?” The answer is you still have a claim. A ‘Beware of Dog’ sign does nothing to protect a dog owner under Idaho law.
You can’t antagonize a dog or poke at a dog or make it attack you and expect to recover damages, but merely having a property posted in Idaho with a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign does not eliminate the responsibility of the owner for damages that that dog causes to another who doesn’t do anything to antagonize the dog. Even though that warning was out there, that warning does not eliminate or reduce the claim for this person in this Idaho dog bite case. If you want to, give us a call to discuss your Idaho dog bite case where there was a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign posted.
Qualifying a Dog Bite Injury
The law around dog bites in Idaho is pretty straightforward. We don’t have some of the standards that are applied in other states. We actually have a case in Idaho where our supreme court said that it’s just not true that a dog gets one free bite. It used to be that a dog could bite somebody and there would be no liability or responsibility on the owner unless the dog bit somebody a second time; at that point, because of the first bite, responsibility would attach because they knew that the dog had a propensity to bite.
As members of this firm and members of the Idaho Trial Lawyers Association, we went to our legislature and helped change that law, and that law is now no longer applicable. There is liability for an owner who allows a dog to bite, no matter what, in Idaho. Making sure that you get full compensation in that setting is important because now insurance companies are trying to use other tricks and tactics to limit or reduce the amount of damages that one can recover from a dog bite and limit what you get and limit your full and fair compensation.
Dog bite cases are relatively simple on the liability side, but they remain complex and much more appropriately dealt with by an attorney on the damages side. Give us a call and we can talk to you about your situation, and you can decide what makes the most sense for you moving forward with your Idaho dog bite case.
Choosing a Dog Bite Attorney
Choosing the right attorney for your Idaho dog bite case is a process of review and evaluation. For any injury case, and particularly for a dog bite case, you want an attorney who’s experienced, skilled, and a true trial attorney. I say trial attorney because not every personal injury attorney really is a trial attorney; they don’t necessarily know their way around a courtroom or in front of a jury. Why does that matter? Because whether in settlement or after trial, true trial attorneys can give you a better chance at full, fair, and complete compensation than somebody who just holds themselves out as a personal injury attorney.
Certainly, don’t just rely on basic television advertising or billboard advertising to select your attorney. Do a background review on that person. Take a look at who that person is and what they’ve done. What have they been recognize for in their profession? Are they members of acknowledged organizations that take care of people and are focused on representation of people, whether it’s a dog bite injury case or any other type of injury case? Do they have accolades? Do they have reviews based on real clients who they’ve actually taken care of in these cases? Why does that matter? Because dog bite law is actually unique in Idaho, and you want a lawyer who understands the unique standards that apply and a lawyer who knows how to present your damages claim – what is the scope of the injury; what is the long-term impacts of the injury from this dog bite?
Feel free to give us a call. One of the other things you always want is an attorney that you’re comfortable with, an attorney that you feel is going to actually represent you and who you will be honest, direct, and truthful with and who is honest, direct, and truthful with you because the relationship between an attorney and their client, and the client and their attorney, is a very important relationship and one that you have to be happy with. Give us a call and any one of us at the firm will be happy to discuss your situation and give you a chance to get a feel for who we are so we can see if we are appropriate lawyers to represent you in your Idaho dog bite case.
Insurance Coverage For a Dog Bite
I’ve talked to people who have been bitten by a dog who are concerned about getting their medical expenses paid and other losses taken care of, and they wonder if insurance covers it. That’s kind of a complex question because insurance means many things. Insurance can be insurance for the person who owned the dog who’s ultimately responsible for everything. Insurance can be your own insurance that applies. It can be no-fault insurance that the owner of the animal actually happens to have, or it can mean your own health insurance.
The question of does insurance apply requires a more complex evaluation of what the various coverages available are and which coverage should kick in. At a minimum, your own health insurance will kick in and help pay any medical expenses. The other person’s medical payments coverage on their property might kick in and pay some of your medical expenses up front before your own medical insurance pays. Then the question of does their liability coverage apply needs to be dealt with because the liability coverage will cover a lot more than merely the medical expenses; it covers the whole scope of damages. It deals with issues of lost income or lost wages, and it deals with the issues of what the other impacts that have been imposed upon you by this dog bite or this dog attack are. What are the other losses that have been imposed on you? What are your general damages, we call them, or your non-economic losses? What are those damages, and can you recover those from the insurance policy of the person who owns the dog?
The best way to get an answer to all these questions is to just give us a call so we can discuss your situation, and you can figure out what you need to do to take care of yourself.
Liability For a Dog Bite Injury
One of the unique things about Idaho’s dog bite law is it creates liability for anyone who is harboring or handling the dog. In other words, not only is the owner responsible for any damages a dog causes with a dog bite in an Idaho dog bite case, but somebody taking the dog out for a walk can be responsible for the damages the dog causes, as well. If somebody is watching the dog at their house for an owner and the dog causes damage, that person can have liability. There might be a place where you can turn to, an insurance policy, that will help you recover for your losses for the damages imposed by this dog attack that you’re dealing with. There are times when a renter might have provided enough information to a landlord that the landlord’s insurance company could be responsible for the damages caused by the renter’s dog.
There are times when it’s not merely just the owner who has liability for the injuries and damages imposed on another by a dog bite, but others as well. Evaluating these facts are the types of things that good Idaho trial attorneys do, and we’re happy to help you evaluate your situation if you just give us a ring.
Call Our Idaho Dog Bite Lawyers Today
Were you bitten by a dog in Boise and have questions about what to do after a dog bite? Contact our experienced Boise Dog Bite Lawyers at Hepworth Holzer today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
We are committed to helping individuals and families throughout Idaho navigate the world of personal injury litigation as quickly and efficiently as possible. Let us get results for you and your family.
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