How can I settle doctors bills after getting a personal injury? 51 Answers as of July 12, 2013

Looking for legal advice. I got bit in the face by a dog and had to have emergency attention. I will have a scar on my face for the rest of my life. I am devastated! A police report was done. What can I do to help settle doctors bills and pain and suffering compensation.

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Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Sue the dog owner. Contact an attorney in your area to review your case. Facial scarring is a legitimate claim. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/24/2011
Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
The owner or keeper of a dog is strictly liable for injuries caused by the dog. Often, however, the only way to make them pay for your injuries is to bring a lawsuit. You should find an attorney for this (and also to make sure you recover all damages from your injuries). I'd be happy to help you.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 6/20/2011
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
You should first consult with an attorney in your area. Whether you are entitled to compensation depends on the individual facts of your case and the history of the animal. Oregon is what is a state that follows the "one bite rule." That means that the owner of the dog is strictly liable for the injuries caused by the dog only if the owner knows or has a reason to know the animals dangerous nature. If the owner doesn't know the dangerous nature of the animal that is not end of the inquiry. The owner may still be liable if he or she intentionally causes the animal to attack you or if he or she is negligent in preventing the attack. As you can see, this area of the law can be quite complex. If you are to be sufficiently compensated you will likely need an attorney to help you.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/20/2011
The Reed Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
The Reed Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Vanessa Reed
I recommend a consultation with a personal injury attorney to discuss this in more detail, and to review your case. I do handle these matters, if you are interested.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 6/16/2011
Tomalas Law Firm
Tomalas Law Firm | Ryan Tomalas
It is possible that you have a very good claim/case to pursue against the owner of the dog. In California dog owners are held Strictly Liable for the injuries caused by their dogs. Meaning that the owner of the dog is responsible for your injuries no matter what caused the dog to bite, or whether the dog has bitten others in the past. Generally, a dog owner's homeowner's insurance policy (assuming they have one) extends to cover these types of situations. Dog bite cases can be quite complex, especially in light of the emotional/psychological aspect of dog bites and the potential for long term/permanent scaring. Please keep in mind that the "value" of your case is not limited to the medical bills which have been incurred, but rather will take into account the numerous ways this incident may impact your life. We have handled hundreds of dog bite cases and are extremely experienced in this area of the law.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/16/2011
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
    You have to establish negligence on some party, such as the dog owner. I would need more facts to answer whether or not the attack was due to negligence by a party.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    To start, sue the dog owner and let your attorney deal with the medical providers. Assuming this bite was less than 2 years ago.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    The owner of the dog should pay for all of your medical costs and then some! You should be compensated for your pain and suffering, your lost wages, your permanent disfigurement and your mental anguish. An attorney can often help you with the doctor's bills in that they can encourage the doctors to wait and take their money out of your settlement. That way you do not have to worry about collections calls while you are healing. If you need any help with this or have any questions, please do not hesitate to call my office.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    You should retain a personal injury lawyer ASAP concerning all your rights and options, concerning your bills and potential compensation. Of course, your attorney will need to know all the facts, (and will discuss the law concerning dog bites with you), in order to make a recommendation to you about whether or not litigation is advisable. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law
    Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law | Daniel Hoarfrost
    The real question is whether the owner of the dog has any resources, (usually homeowner's ins.), to pay compensation. Please feel free to call me at the office and arrange a free initial consult.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of William Justice Whitaker
    Law Office of William Justice Whitaker | William J. Whitaker
    Virginia is one of a few states that follows the "One Bite Rule" which to summarize states that if a dog has never shown any propensity for aggression and/or has never bitten someone before, then the dog can attack/bite one person and the owner is not liable. However, the flip side of this is if the dog has a history of aggressive behavior and/or has bitten someone before, then the owner is strictly liable for any injuries the dog causes regardless of the situation or circumstances. You need to find out if the owner of the dog has home owners insurance or renters insurance and contact the insurance company and make a claim. I would be happy to discuss this matter further with you and urge you to contact myself or another attorney who has extensive knowledge of this area of law as dog bite cases can be very complicated.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    You should consult with an attorney on this. The insurance company for the dog owner is responsible for paying your bills and for paying reasonable compensation for your injuries.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Offices of Tom Patton
    Law Offices of Tom Patton | Thomas C. Patton
    You should call a personal injury attorney in your jurisdiction for a consultation. Most personal injury attorneys offer a free initial consultation. In my jurisdictions Oregon and Washington, the dog's owner is probably liable, and there may be other possible liable parties. Homeowners or some other insurance may be available to cover your losses. Good luck with your case.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Bristol & Dubiel LLP
    Bristol & Dubiel LLP | Murray L. Bristol
    You may be able to seek damages against the person who owns the dog for injuries, including pain and suffering and your medical bills. I recommend contacting an attorney in your area to discuss your options.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Make a claim against the dog owner.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/12/2013
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    First, whose dog bit you? If the owner of the dog had homeowner's insurance, the insurance will probably pay for your medical bills. In Florida, we have strict liability for dog bites against the dog's owner. It wouldn't hurt you to consult with a personal injury attorney....most of them work on a contingent fee basis.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A.
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. | Lawrence A. Ramunno
    You can sue the owner but need to prove he did something wrong. And hope the owner has insurance.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Offices of Earl K. Straight
    Law Offices of Earl K. Straight | Earl K. Straight
    You can pursue a claim against the owner of the dog, and against the owners homeowners insurance policy if he has one.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A.
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A. | Joseph Lipsky
    We are truly sorry to hear of your situation. Your recourse would be to file a claim, and thereafter, possibly a lawsuit against the owner of the dog for your personal injuries. A critical issue will be whether the person who owns the dog has liability/homeowner's insurance, which does not have an exclusion for animal attacks. We suggest you contact an experienced personal injury attorney, to assist you in properly investigating the potentially liable parties.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC | J. Todd Tenge
    You need to make a claim against the owner of the dog for all your injuries, damages, and losses (including medical bills and compensation for your scar). You will need to determine who owns the dog and whether or not they have either assets or homeowners or renters insurance to cover the loss. While you may make a claim against even if the owner doesn't have assets or insurance, but collecting on the claim would be a bit tough. Contact us if you would like further information and help.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    You may have a case, based upon the information that you have supplied.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/12/2013
    E. Ray Critchett, LLC
    E. Ray Critchett, LLC | Ray Critchett
    Generally, if you were attacked by a dog, the owner of the dog can be held liable for your injuries (medical expenses, pain and suffering and time off of work). You may also be able to recover for the permanent scar. Once your case is resolved, many medical facilities will work with on payment terms if needed.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 10/25/2012
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
    I am sorry to hear about your injury. You may have a legal remedy for the dog bite injuries. It is not possible to give you a definite answer as more facts are needed. Our website has some articles about dog bite cases and the applicable law. For a quick answer to your specific situation, I recommend calling an experienced injury attorney. Most offer a free consultation. In your situation, the need is compelling because you have significant and permanent injuries. Some of the questions that you should be prepared to answer will include the breed of the dog and the owner of the dog. There will also be a focus on insurance coverage as there must be some source for your recovery of medical bills and other damages. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    You can sue the homeowner but you will have to prove the dog had a predisposition to bite. This would mean other incidents or a vicious breed.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Dog bite cases can be very valuable. I assume that you dont have medical insurance or Medicaid or you wouldnt be asking the question. You can ask the doctor to take what is called an assignment to be paid from the proceeds of your personal injury case when it settles. You should definitely consult with an attorney. I can help you find one anywhere in the Country if you are unable to. Please note the following necessary legal disclaimer: I have not given legal advice. I only give legal advice to my clients. I am not acting as your attorney. I have not agreed to represent you. Attorneys often disagree. If you want further information or independent verification of anything I have said then you should immediately consult another attorney. All claims have time limits. In general in New York State they are: three (3) years for personal injury and property damage actions, two and one half (2 ) years for medical malpractice claims, two (2) years for wrongful death, one (1) year for an intentional wrongdoing, six (6) years for contract claims, but four (4) years for sales of goods under the Uniform Commercial Code, and four (4) months to challenge an action or decision of a government body, department or agency. However, in a claim for personal injury or property damages, if any person or entity at fault is affiliated with a municipal or other government department, agency or facility, then you may be required to file a notice of claim within ninety (90) days and then commence a lawsuit within one (1) year and ninety (90) days, but sometimes within one (1) year. These time limits have exceptions. Never sit on your rights!
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Suisman Shapiro
    Suisman Shapiro | John A. Collins
    You may bring a claim against the owner or keeper of the dog. In many instances these claims are covered under an individual's homeowner's insurance policy. Please call if we can be of assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    I often advise people to settle their own personal injury claims rather than hire an attorney. Usually this is where your medical bills are less than $10,000.00 and there is no permanent injury. In your case, I would hire an attorney because of your permanent scar. With most attorneys, you will not have to pay the fee until the case is settled. If you insist on representing yourself, I recommend the following steps: 1. If you have health insurance, use it for the medical bills. More of the settlement will go to you rather than doctors. Although you may have to reimburse your insurer out of the settlement you may not have to, plus they pay lower fees to the doctors than you would if you pay out of your settlement because they have special rates. 2. Get the contact information for claims division of the dog owners homeowner's insurance company (if the dog owner has no homeowner's insurance, you may not be able to collect anything from the dog owner). Write a letter to the claims department that you are filing a claim. 3. If the dog owner is insured, get an estimate for what plastic surgery will cost and include this in the claim. If the dog owner has no insurance, this may be throwing good money after bad. In this case, file suit, and get a judgment. It is good for 10 years. Maybe he'll pay someday. 4. Do not settle until you have finished all medical treatment. You may even have to wait a year to see how bad the scar is going to be.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC
    Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC | Timothy G. Kearney
    You should consult with an attorney in your state who is experienced in dog bite cases. Some jurisdictions have a "first bite" rule which may preclude the claim. If you can pursue the claim you may be entitled to compensation including a scarring award. Good Luck. Disclaimer: This answer is not meant, nor should it be construed to be legal advice, Further, it is not intended to, nor does it create a lawyer/client relationship with any firm or individual to whom this answer is communicated.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Ron Graham Attorney at Law
    Ron Graham Attorney at Law | Ron Graham
    Did the other party have insurance? I am guessing you have settled your claim and what ever is owed the for medical bills has to be paid back out of the settlement.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    West law Office
    West law Office | Russell West
    The owner or keeper of the dog is liable for any bites that took place and the ramifications. You are entitled to medical expenses, pain and suffering, any lost wages, and any permanent injuries such as scarring. If the dog owner has homeowners insurance that policy should cover the insured. If not you would need to file a lawsuit against the individual. However if the person does not have any money it may be difficult to ever collect on the judgement.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC | Paul S. Bovarnick
    If the dog owner knew that the dog had a propensity to attack strangers, then a lawyer may be able to help you recover money for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. You should immediately contact an experienced trial lawyer in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    Unless you were a trespasser or uninvited guest on the property where you got bit, the owner of the dog is responsible for your injuries. Many attorneys would take your case on a contingency basis. You should seek the advice of an attorney to make a claim.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Premier Law Group
    Premier Law Group | Jason Epstein
    The bottom line is that you probably need to hire an attorney. In Washington, the owner of the dog is liable for injuries their dog causes. That includes medical bills and pain and suffering. Hopefully the owner of the dog has either a homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance policy that will cover this negligence.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq.
    The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq. | Bradley Kramer
    You can file a lawsuit against the dog owner.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    You should absolutely get an attorney! There is no legal fee unless we get you money and if you know who owns that dog there should be an good case for you to get compensated. Do not speak with anyone from the insurance company or the dog owner until you get an attorney. Call me tomorrow and I would be happy to discuss this with you in more detail.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC | Andrew F. Garruto
    First and foremost you should seek the advice of a personal injury attorney close to you. The insurance companies are not looking out for your interests, but theirs. In my humble opinion they would love to contact you before you retain a lawyer and settle before you realize what your full damages are, and settle your case short. For example, you may need plastic surgery to correct the scars on your face, and if the incident was recent, it may be too early to determine how much, if any, plastic surgery you need. There should be more public records beyond the police report - there should be health department records too, which may inform you that a summons was issued to the dog's owner. The health department records may also inform you what shots the dog had and didn't have. Seek the advice of counsel before contacting the dog's owner or their insurance company.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    Dog bite cases are quite common. Some states have very strict laws holding dog owners legally responsible for injuries caused by their dogs in most circumstances. If you were legally on the property where the dog bit you and you did not provoke the dog, and the owner did not warn you of a danger, you likely have a legal right to seek compensation for your medical expenses and any other damages you suffered, from the dog owner. The dog owner's homeowner's insurance may be legally responsible for paying the claim as well, if there is insurance. That is why people buy insurance! You should consult with a lawyer in your area. Be aware that time limitations apply to such claims, so you should speak with someone right away to be sure that you know the applicable deadlines. Most lawyers who handle these sorts of cases will talk to you free of charge to discuss your case, and will handle your case on a contingency fee basis. Thus, you only pay if you win.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/21/2012
    Aronberg & Aronberg, Personal Injury Law Firm
    Aronberg & Aronberg, Personal Injury Law Firm | David T. Aronberg
    It sounds like you may have a valid case against the owner of the dog. Does the owner of the dog have homeowners or renters insurance? Sometimes, insurance excludes animal bites from the policy. I would like to speak to you about your case on the phone.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Offices of Steven R. Kuhn & Associates
    Law Offices of Steven R. Kuhn & Associates | Steven R. Kuhn
    You are entitled to make a claim against the owner of the dog for medical bills, cost of future plastic surgery, pain and suffering and for any loss of income. Contact me for a free consultation. We handle cases all over the state of California.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    You can sue the owner of the dog, and it is often covered by homeowners insurance. I handle many of these matters each year and would be glad to discuss the deals with you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Christopher F. Earley
    Law Office of Christopher F. Earley | Christopher Earley
    Does the owner of the dog have homeowners insurance?
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    Magnuson Lowell P.S.
    Magnuson Lowell P.S. | Richard S. Lowell
    You need an experienced personal injury attorney. Please feel free to call me and I will be happy to discuss this with you in detail.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates | Sheldon J. Aberman
    You should consult with an attorney, to make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve. This compensation should include payment of your medical bills, pain and suffering, temporary disability and disfigurement (for your scar).
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    Retain a personal injury attorney. Feel free to contact me. Did the dog have a prior history of bites or similar behavior?
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    You can file a lawsuit against the owner of the dog to recover for your medical bills and pain. Our firm handles dog bite cases around PA and has experiences with these sorts of cases.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
    Sorry to hear about the dog bite and the scarring. The dog's owner is liable for all current and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. A good personal injury attorney can help you recover for your damages.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    David Hoines Law
    David Hoines Law | David Hoines
    You might be able to sue the owner of the dog.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/14/2011
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