There’s an old saying in the newspaper business that goes something like this: When dog bites a man, that’s not news, because it happens so often. But when a man bites a dog, now that’s newsworthy.
The fact is, however, that dogs biting people should be news precisely because it happens so often. Statistics show that more than 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year—more than one-half of them are children.
The injuries caused by dog bites are often newsworthy as well. Nearly one million people require medical attention after a dog bite and more than 300,000 people are forced to seek emergency room treatment for wounds that result in bleeding, broken bones, scarring, infection, and psychological trauma.
Here’s one more important piece of news: if you are a member of your family have been bitten by a dog you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your physical and psychological injuries, the cost of your medical care, lost time at work, and, in some cases punitive damages. That’s why it is important for you to contact attorneys with vast experience in this area of the law—attorneys like the members of the legal team at Betras, Kopp, and Harshman.
At Betras, Kopp, and Harshman we pay special attention to dog bite cases because we know they can cause pain and suffering for many years. A person, especially a child, bitten on the face or other exposed body part may require many, complicated plastic surgeries that take years to heal and still may not be able to completely repair the disfigurement that can occur when a dog tears away at flesh and muscle. That’s why we fight to win settlements, either via negotiations or in court, that will provide the funds needed for our clients to fully recover from their injuries.
The legal team at Betras, Kopp, and Harshman begins our representation of dog bite victims by assigning a highly-skilled professional investigator to each case. Our investigator will document the injuries, take witness statements, establish ownership of the dog, and determine whether the owner has insurance coverage that will pay the compensation victims deserve. Our investigator will also talk to people living in the neighborhood and review veterinary and police records to learn if the dog has a history of biting.
At the same time, the attorney assigned to the case will review all medical records and, if necessary, consult with a qualified plastic surgeon in order to formulate the cost of current and future treatment. This is extremely important in cases that require plastic surgery because if the opinion of the surgeon is not submitted in the damage claim the victim may be responsible for paying for the extremely expensive surgical procedures themselves in the years ahead. This is just one of the many reasons why it is vitally important for you to consult with an experienced dog bite attorney before talking with insurance company claims adjusters or signing settlement agreements they may offer.
Along with assessing the amount of compensation needed to pay for medical care, your attorney will also evaluate the case for other potential claims including lost time from work, psychological trauma, and punitive damages.
At that point we meet with our clients, share our evaluation of their case, and help them decide if they should file a lawsuit. This type of consultation is extremely valuable because the victim and family members will be attempting to make critical decisions at a time when they are also coping with the after-effects of the dog attack. Our rational, reasoned advice, based on our experience and knowledge of the legal system has helped hundreds of dog bite victims protect their rights.
If you or a member of your family has been injured by dog, don’t delay, contact Betras, Kopp & Harshman today at 330-746-8484, 800-467-2889 or use the contact form on this page.
Dog Bites FAQs
Q: What Should I Do After A Dog Bite?
- Report the attack to the police and the local dog warden or animal control center
- Seek medical attention at once because dog bites commonly lead to serious infections
- Immediately contact your local dog warden or animal control board and report the incident if you are not familiar with the dog involved. Animal control officers may be able to locate the dog and determine its rabies vaccination status. This is critically important!
- Take photos of the injury
- Obtain the contact information of the owner and any witnesses to the attack
- Immediately contact an experienced dog bite attorneys like the legal team at Betras, Kopp, and Harshman to assist you in preserving the evidence, obtaining insurance information, obtaining the best medical doctors and presenting your claim.
Q: What are my rights?
Q: Can an 'invisible fence' prevent me from recovering compensation from the owner?
Q: Should I report the dog bite?
Q: Should I Take Photographs?
Q: What is the leash law and how does it affect damage awards?
Q: How much money can I recover?
Q: What is the 'Free Bite' Rule? Does this mean a dog owner is not legally responsible for the first person his dog bites?
Q: How Can I find the Owner of the dog that attacked and bit me?
Q: If I notify the authorities and hire an attorney, what will happen to the dog?
Q: What liability does the owner of the attacking dog face?
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost income from work
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
It is important to reiterate that dog bites can cause serious, life-altering, long-lasting injuries, including permanent scarring. These injuries may require a series of surgeries over many years and involve skin grafts and other types of complex procedures. Along with physical pain and suffering, scars of caused by dog bites can cause severe physical and emotional trauma that lasts for a lifetime. That is why you should never sign an agreement offered by an insurance company claims adjuster until you have met with an attorney.
The experienced dog bite attorneys at Betras, Kopp, and Harshman fight to protect our clients’ rights and to secure the compensation needed to pay for all the treatment that may be needed for victims to fully recover from dog bite injuries.