Experienced Attorney Serving Montgomery, Chester and Buck Counties
One of the reasons that the majority of Philadelphia dog bite victims don’t pursue compensation is that they don’t understand the dog bite claims process. They have misconceptions that they will absolutely have to go to court and testify, or that everyone will know their legal business. Others are intimidated because they think they need to know Pennsylvania dog bite law backwards and forwards before they begin. This is not the case.
In reality, most dog bite claims are settled outside of court and negotiations happen behind closed doors. Actual lawsuits are rarely filed. In reality, your Philadelphia dog bite lawyer will take care of all of the complexities of your case, from collecting evidence to filing the necessary paperwork.
Let’s take a closer look at the general dog bite claims process in Pennsylvania:
- You choose an experienced Pennsylvania dog bite attorney. The first step is the only one that the dog bite victim must take by him or herself. You must call a dog bite attorney and tell your story. During the initial consultation, be sure to ask the dog bite lawyer about his or her experience with such cases as well as his or her track record.
- We uncover applicable insurance policies. Once we are hired, we will begin by finding out what kind of insurance coverage is associated with your dog bite case. Many times, the dog’s owner has homeowner’s insurance coverage or renter’s insurance coverage. In some cases, however, other entities may be responsible for the animal attack (such as a property owner where the bite took place, or even the city or town where the bite took place). We will determine exactly who was at fault for your dog bite and who their insurers are.
- We set up a dog bite claim with the insurance company. Once we understand who is at fault for your dog bite injuries, we will file a claim with the insurance company. This involves getting a claim number and an insurance adjuster. It also involves giving all necessary information and evidence to the insurance adjuster. We will help you compile this information and decide whether to give a recorded statement to the insurance company at this time.
- We collect all needed evidence in the case. You won’t win your case unless you can prove negligence. During this phase of your case, we will collect the facts of the case by locating witnesses, reviewing all medical information related to the case, and examining everything that happened before, during, and after the attack. This evidence will be vital to both calculating damages and to insurance company claim negotiations. During this phase, we will also have an experienced plastic surgeon look at your injuries, examine any potential scarring, and recommend treatment.
- We calculate damages and document your claim. Using the information secured during the discovery phase of your case, we can calculate how much your medical bills were and how much future treatment will cost. We will also factor in any lost wages, permanent injuries, and costly psychological damage. This final number will reflect the total value of the dog bite claim. All of the above will be compiled, packaged and ultimately sent to the claims adjuster along with a formal demand for a dog bite settlement.
- We negotiate with the insurance company. Typically, within 30 days of receiving the demand package, the insurance adjuster will offer a settlement. We will determine if the offer is fair or if it is too low. In most cases, because insurance companies will often fight to pay out the least amount possible, this begins a series of negotiations between the insurance company and your attorney. Because of our thorough discovery process, we can confidently and aggressively argue your claim.
- We establish a claim resolution. At this point, one of two things happens: we come to a settlement agreement privately and fairly or the insurance company makes us take the case to court. While some dog bite attorneys shy away from litigation, we will do whatever it takes under the law to get our clients the compensation they deserve. Once there has been a resolution, the insurance adjuster or defense attorneys will have the plaintiff sign a release in exchange for the payment.
Start Your Pennsylvania Dog Bite Claims Process Today
As you can see, a single call to The Dog Bite Lawyer can put your dog bite claims process into motion and get you a fair, just claim resolution to your attack and injury.
Jeffrey Harlan Penneys, Esquire, is available to talk 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 215-987-3550 (office) or 215-771-0430 (cell) to get your questions answered and begin proceedings to receive fair compensation. You can also fill out our no-obligation case assessment form and Mr. Penneys will get back with you.