America loves its canine friends, welcoming dogs into their homes, making them part of the family, and trusting their loyalty. This adoration of dogs can sometimes make people overlook the fact that they are still animals that can be unpredictable. Even the most docile dog can bite, causing serious injuries to victims. According to statistics on dog bites in the US, around 4.7 people are bitten by dogs annually, at a rate of about one attack every 75 seconds. Every day, more than 1,000 people will seek medical treatment at emergency rooms for dog bite injuries.
Maryland has favorable laws for dog bite victims, so you may qualify to recover compensation for your medical costs, pain and suffering, and other losses. However, when monetary damages can range into the thousands, you might wonder where you turn to seek payment. The details vary, but you can count on a Baltimore County dog bite attorney to explain how the laws work. Some information on how you get paid on these claims is useful as an overview.
Liability Insurance Claims
In legal terms, you will pursue the dog’s owner after an attack. However, property owners, businesses, and homeowners carry liability insurance to protect their personal interests if they cause harm to someone. As such, in the majority of dog bite cases, you will file a claim with the dog owner’s insurance company. Your documentation will include a demand for payment of your losses, which you must specify in detail and support with credible evidence. Many dog bite claims settle, but you need to sue in court if the insurer does not pay fairly.
When the Owner Does Not Have Insurance
It is rare that an owner of property, a business, or a home would go without insurance, but it does happen. A similar scenario is where there is a loophole or denial of coverage for dog bites. In either case, if insurance is not available, you might have options through:
- Criminal restitution if the dog’s owner is facing criminal charges because of the attack;
- Suing the owner in court and obtaining a judgment, which enables you to lien property or garnish wages; and,
- Pursuing a property owner who was not the dog’s owner but knows its vicious nature, which is often the case with apartment complexes.
Most victims of dog bites are familiar with the animal, but strays can also attack. When there is no clear owner of the dog, there is no one to hold accountable. However, the location where the attack occurred has an owner who will insure the premises. It is common for stray dogs to congregate in abandoned lots, so you could file a claim under the policy.
Discuss Remedies With a Maryland Dog Bite Attorney It is good news that there are multiple ways to recover compensation, but you would be wise to trust a lawyer to help you actually get paid. To learn more, please call Michael A. Freedman at 410.363.6848 or visit us online to set up a case analysis.