Encountering dogs is normally a mundane experience in North Carolina and around the country. Although many are friendly and under their owners’ control, others might be more on the aggressive side and even bite. These are steps to take after such a situation occurs and how to file a claim.
Steps after a dog bite
Dog attacks and bites can result in serious injuries and infections. The first thing to do is immediately seek medical attention by going to the nearest emergency room or urgent care. If necessary, call 911 for assistance and contact Animal Control about the attack.
If the dog’s owner is present at the time of the bite, exchange relevant information with them. If they have homeowners’ or renter’s insurance, it could later cover your medical expenses and other damages. If they are not around, locate the owner and contact them about the situation.
Gather as much evidence as possible about the dog bite. If you can, take photos of the dog and the location of the scene where the incident happened. Talk with witnesses and get their names, contact information and statements. Take photos of your injuries if possible and keep your medical bills and records.
Filing a dog bite claim
A dog bite claim can be filed with the dog owner’s insurance company. The first step in doing that is to notify the insurer of your intent to file a personal injury claim. Keep all of your evidence and make copies of all documentation to include in your claim.
Once the extent of your injuries is known and you have recovered, you can send a settlement demand letter for damages. This should account for all the expenses you are out due to the dog bite.
In the event that the insurance company attempts to minimize your damages or reject your claim, you can go a step further; filing a lawsuit directly against the dog’s owner might be necessary.