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Take action after a dog bite, even if you know the dog’s owner

Even people whom you know and trust could have an animal that turns out to be dangerous. People with good hearts may open their homes to a rescue animal whose abusive past may make them more dangerous than other animals. Even a dog that someone you know raised from a puppy could still have psychological issues or might snap without provocation at you or one of your children.

A dog bite attack is often traumatic for the person on the receiving end of those sharp teeth. People typically require a combination of medical care and mental health counseling or therapy to fully recover from a vicious dog attack.

Those costs should not become the responsibility of the victim, but if you know the owner of the animal, you may feel hesitant to take action. Partnering with a Frankfort attorney can make the process easier and more professional.

Your lawyer can help you look at your options

If a dog bite attack occurred during a residential visit at someone’s home or out in their yard, there’s a good chance that their rental insurance or homeowner’s insurance policy will offer some protection from the liability that results from a vicious dog attack. You might feel uncomfortable broaching the topic, which can make it much better for you to work with an attorney.

Your lawyer can make initial contact with the insurance company. From filing a claim to exploring what coverage the dog’s owner had, your lawyer can handle the process and then inform you of what options and rights you have when filing a claim.

A lawyer can put pressure on an unscrupulous insurance company

Your friend or loved one will likely want their insurance company to cover the costs associated with your injury. Wanting to protect the people that love and visit them is one reason why people have liability insurance policies. Unfortunately, even if they have good coverage, the insurance company will likely do their best to minimize how much they have to pay out to you as the victim.

Handling it alone could mean that you will experience increasing frustration with the company and then with your friend. Your lawyer, on the other hand, can handle the process of filing the claim and then negotiating with the insurance company if they offer an inappropriately low settlement.

Your attorney can help you keep things professional

When issues involving health and money arise, they can quickly complicate your closest friendships and relationships. The intense emotions that come up during the process of negotiating an insurance claim or potentially filing a civil suit against someone can have long-term consequences for your relationship.

By allowing an attorney to handle most of the process, you can make it less personal and more professional, potentially safeguarding the relationship with the owner of the dog. The people who love you should want the best for you and that would include connecting with the care you need after a vicious dog bite attack. Consulting with an experienced dog bite attorney may make it easier for you to navigate the claims process.

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- Michael L. Hawkins