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2013-2017

South Georgia Animal Attacks and Dog Bites Lawyer

Animal Attacks and Dog Bites Attorney

Dogs may be common household pets, but they often cause serious injuries in vicious attacks. To be sure, approximately 5 million Americans are bitten according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of that, about 885,000 need emergency room treatment for their injuries. Our attorneys understand the pain you may be experiencing after an animal attack, and we are prepared to advocate for you today.

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Automobile Accident

$2.6 Million Jury Verdict against Volusia County. Trial televised on Good Morning America

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Personal Injury

$2.6 Million Verdict against Volusia County, televised on Good Morning America.

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Medical Malpractice

Confidential settlement of over 100 cases against a pediatric dentist who faces prosecution for fraud based on abuse of children.

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The First Three Things You Should Do After an Animal Attack

  • Seek Immediate Medical Help

If you have been attacked by an animal in Southern Georgia, you need to get yourself to a doctor right away. This is important for several different reasons. Though, none more so than protecting your health. Certainly, if you were severely injured in an animal attack, you will require emergency medical assistance. However, even if you feel your injuries are only moderate, you still need to visit a medical professional as soon as possible. The single biggest health risk from animal attacks is the possibility of infection. For reference, consider this startling figure pertaining to dog attack cases:  

  • Nearly 50 percent of dog bite-related hospitalizations occur because of surface level or subcutaneous tissue infection.

Infections are the most common cause of animal attack complications. Animals are simply not clean and attacks can lead to particularly nasty infections. Fortunately, with modern medicine and technology these infections can be treated. However, quick action must be taken. Do not give an infection time to develop. Protect yourself by seeking immediate treatment.

Beyond protecting your health, you should also seek medical help to protect your legal rights. If you are going to file a personal injury claim in relation to your animal attack injuries, you will need supporting medical documentation. Without this documentation, your dog bite or animal attack injury claim will not be successful.

  • Gather Information Related to the Attack

While your medical needs always come first, as soon as things settle down, you should take proactive steps to gather key information about the attack. More specifically, in a Georgia animal or dog attack case, you should obtain the following information:

  • The name and contact information of the animal owner(s);
  • The name and contact information of the individual who controlled the animal when the incident took place;
  • The exact location of the animal attack;
  • Contact information for any and all witnesses; and
  • If available, vaccination and other health records for the animal.
  • Take Photographs of Your Injuries

Supporting evidence is necessary to pursue a successful personal injury claim. It is imperative that you secure as much evidence as you can. You need to think about this soon after the attack because some forms of evidence quickly disappear. For example, your injuries will begin to heal. If you fail to take photographs these injuries, you will lose out on your ability to so do. Ultimately, it is always better to have more supporting information available. Take extensive photos of your injuries and let your attorney determine how they can be used in your case.

The Insurance Company is Not On Your Side

Dog bite victims and other animal attack victims often seek compensation from an insurance company. In many cases, a homeowners insurance policy will bear liability for some or all of the damages. It would be nice to think that these giant insurance companies would pay injured victims the full and fair compensation that rightfully deserve without hassle or delay; but unfortunately, that is rarely the case. Instead, insurance carriers are looking out for their own best interests. This means that they focus on their bottom line. In other words, insurance companies are looking  for ways to get victims to settle for less than they actually deserve. If you were seriously injured in an animal attack in Georgia, know that the insurance company is not on your side. Please consider our top five tips for dealing with insurers:

    1. You are allowed to take your time: An animal attack is physically and psychologically devastating. You do not owe the insurance company a long statement or conversation about your injuries immediately after the attack. If you are not up to speaking about it yet, you can take some more time. However, please remember that there is statute of limitations is in place. Do wait too long to take action as you may lose out on your legal rights.
    2. All conversations are official and formal: You may be contacted by a friendly sounding insurance company representative who just wants to “learn more” about your injuries. Keep your guard up. In reality, the insurance company is probing your case and will be looking for information they can use against you.  
  • Get it in writing: If you have been told something over the phone by the insurer, be sure to get it in writing as well. You should always be seeking two forms of confirmation of any important information.
  • Let your lawyer negotiate the case: How much is your dog bite or animal attack injury case really worth? Are you 100 percent confident that you know? Most likely, you will not know and this is normal. Animal attacks are a highly specialized area of law. The insurance company has well-trained experts trying to get you to settle for less. They do not want you to know the real value of your case. This is why it is so important to let an experienced personal injury lawyer handle settlement negotiations.
  • Do not sign anything without approval from a lawyer: Whether it is a final settlement agreement or something more simple like the release of your medical files, do not thoughtlessly sign anything from the insurance company. First, let your lawyer review the documents. Your lawyer will ensure that signing is in your best interests.  

Dog Bites and Medical Costs

Dog bites cause major physical, emotional and financial damage for the victims and their families. A report from the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research found that more than 300,000 Americans go to the emergency room for dog-related injuries on an annual basis. Of those who stay in the hospital overnight, the average cost of the hospital stay alone was $18,000. Not only is this figure shocking, but it is merely a small fraction of the total amount of damages that can be incurred after a dog attack. Victims need to be able to recover fair compensation.

 

You Can Afford a Dog Bite Lawyer

Do not go through the injury claims process alone. You need qualified legal representation by your side. At the Law Offices of John M. Phillips, our personal injury team is committed to serving our clients in a cost efficient manner. We do not take money out of the pockets of personal injury victims. In fact, we never charge dog bite or animal attack victims any upfront fees. If you have been injured, we will review your claim free of charge and help determine exactly what needs to be done to maximize your compensation. Let us help put money back into your pocket.

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