Roughly 31 million injuries are experienced and recorded in the United States each year due to incidents such as dog bites, so you aren't alone when it comes to wanting some restitution for your pain and suffering. Luckily you may be able to have your medical bills and rehabilitation costs reimbursed, as well as receive compensation for loss of work and recovery time by filing a personal injury claim against the party who is responsible for the negligence that led to your injuries. In addition to hiring a lawyer who is experienced in dealing with dog bite claims to work with, you can implement the following methods and techniques to maximize your potential personal injury settlement:
Gather Important Information
One of the most important things you can do to support your personal injury case is gather some proof of the incident so the court has optimal insight into why, how and where the injury happened. In addition to getting the dog owner's name and phone number, document their home address and the policy number of their liability insurance if they have any. You should also get the dog's name and write down a full description of their features. If the dog is licensed with the county, it's essential to get a license number as well.
If possible, talk to witnesses who saw the incident and ask them to write down a short description of what they saw happen. Get their names and phone numbers so they can be passed along to your lawyer as potential witnesses in your personal injury case. If you have a smartphone or other device that has photographing capabilities, it is a good idea to take initial pictures of the dog and the area in which the injury occurred.
Maintain a Recovery Progress Diary
In addition to taking photos of the dog and area of the incident, it's important to visually document your injuries as soon as possible after they happen, and to make visual updates of your recovery progress. You can easily do this by taking photographs of your injuries after the initial bite, and then again once every week or so throughout the progression of your personal injury case. Take the photos outside or under a bright light indoors to minimize shadow distractions.
It's also a good idea to maintain a daily recovery diary that details things like your energy levels, the extent of your discomfort due to injuries, and your mental outlook on your recovery. You should also document any medications, therapy sessions, or missed work date that are experienced as you recover so you have access to exact details like dates, times, medication amounts if necessary.
Save all of Your Paperwork and Receipts
More than likely your medical records, treatment receipts, and proof of lost wages will be used to help determine your settlement amount if you win your case. But these aren't the only things you may be able to get compensation for by filing a personal injury claim. It's important to also keep records of the following types of paperwork so your lawyer can factor them in to your case:
- Physical Therapy Records
- Medication Receipts
- Mental Therapy Receipts (bills for sessions relating to the pain and suffering of your injuries)
- Doctor and Therapist Reports
Receipts, letterheads, evaluations, medical reports, and even transportation costs if you can't drive yourself due to your injuries should be considered when negotiating your personal injury settlement.
These tips and tricks should be well worth the leg work required to manage them, as you'll be less likely to shoulder the financial responsibility required to fully recover and get back on your feet again.
For more information, contact a firm like Scherline And Associates.