The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States. Surprisingly, only 15,000 to 16,000 dog bite claims are made to insurance companies in a typical year. Thus, less than one percent of dog bites are reported to insurance companies. There are several reasons why such a low percentage of dog bites are reported to insurance companies.
First, many dog bites are not serious and do not require expensive medical care. Second, victims cannot make insurance claims against the dog owners who do not have a homeowner’s policy, renter’s policy or dog liability insurance policy. Third, most of the victims of dog bites are the dog owner’s family or friends. Friends and family members are often concerned that making an insurance claim will damage their relationship with the dog owner. However, it is possible to make a claim against an insurance company without damaging the relationship between the dog owner and the victim. Most lawyers will follow the wishes of their client.
Dog bite victims are often better off with the assistance of an experienced dog bite attorney. Most dog bite attorneys represent clients on a contingency fee basis, so they are not paid unless they collect compensation for the victim. Dog bite attorneys are knowledgeable regarding what evidence is needed to prove a claim and all the different categories of loss the insurance company is liable for compensating the victim. Without a lawyer, the insurance adjustor knows the dog bite victim is unlikely to file a lawsuit and will have to accept a low offer.
Attorney Patrick O’Hara has vast experience representing victims of dog bites. He has pursued claims on behalf of adults and children who were victims of dog bites. Contact the O’Hara Law Firm today for a free consultation. Call (832) 956-1138.