Do I Need a Lawyer for my Dog Bite Case?

There are good reasons why you will want or need an attorney to successfully handle your dog bite case, even if no lawsuit is ever filed for you.

A Lawyer Will Help You Deal With the Insurance Company

First, it is not advisable to deal directly with the insurance company as they will be looking for any evidence that may inadvertently be volunteered from you that could diminish or deny your claim. Having a lawyer communicate on your behalf shows that you are serious and provides you protection from insurance company lawyers and investigators. A knowledgeable lawyer will help you to minimize the chance that insurance coverage will be denied on a disputed fact or legal technicality (on issues like, who owned the dog or whether the person who harbored the dog had a legal right to be insured under the policy for the premises) or that a finding of provocation (one of several legal defenses) will prevent your claim.

A Lawyer Will Help You With Medical Bills and Liens

Second, because every dog bite case involves medical bills, there will be medical liens or insurance subrogation liens that must be negotiated or adjudicated in order to settle the claim. You should never let the insurance company simply pay your liens from your settlement, as they have no legal mechanism to reduce the amount of your bills – they legally cannot negotiate these balances down for you. Having a good dog bite attorney on your side will reduce the amount of bills or liens that must be paid out of your settlement, thereby increasing the amount your net recovery.

A Lawyer is Necessary in Cases Where Children are Bitten Or Attacked

Third, many dog bite cases, including cases for minors, require court approval before settlement can be completed. A dog bite claim on behalf of a minor must be brought in front of a probate court to obtain court approval. You will need an attorney to file a petition to nominate you to act as your child’s legal guardian for settlement and to obtain court approval upon a finding that the amount obtained through settlement is “fair and reasonable.” Sometimes, the court will appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) to review your child’s medical records and report their own findings to the court. An experienced dog bite lawyer will know how to file the appropriate petition, and deal with questions from both the GAL and the court to obtain needed authorization to proceed with and distribute settlement.

A Lawyer Will Get You the Maximum Compensation for Your Injuries

Fourth, and most important, an experienced dog bite lawyer will take your case seriously and know how get you the maximum dog bite settlement for your injury. Our team of dedicated Illinois dog bite lawyers maintains a dog bite settlement average that is nearly $100,000 per case, well above the national average. How do we get our client’s dog bites cases settled successfully? We communicate with and set expectations with insurance adjusters and investigators early, so that maximum insurance claim reserves are set for you. We document your injuries and direct you to plastic surgeons or dermatologists when needed to get opinions on future prognosis (i.e., to answer the question, “will the scar be permanent?”). Our team carefully photographs disfiguring wounds and, when needed, creates a video to show how recuperating from the wounds suffered in a vicious attack can be difficult. In short, we take your case seriously. We know what your case is likely worth and what it takes to get it settled for you.

Contact the Naperville Dog Bite Lawyers at The Law Offices of John J. Malm & Associates

After seeking prompt emergency medical attention, you should report any dog bite incident or attack to local animal control. Then, consult with the Naperville dog bite lawyers at the Law Office of John J. Malm & Associates. We are an experienced personal injury law firm representing individuals and families who have suffered an injury or loss due to an accident. You may be entitled to a substantial settlement if you have been injured. Call 630-527-4177, or 312-422-6855, and speak with Attorney John J. Malm and his team today.

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