Last Updated on April 15, 2021 by Legal Team
How can you get the most out of a dog bite claim from an insurance company?
Sometimes, it can be hard to negotiate general damages with an insurance company, especially if you handle such cases without an attorney. Here are 5 tips that can help increase your insurance compensation for a dog bite claim.
1. Understand What Entails Pain and Suffering
When negotiating dog bite claims, what should pain and suffering include? This should be more than the physical pain inflicted by the dog bite. Think of all the ways the dog attack has affected your daily life and what can express losses to the insurer.
Such things such as physical pain, fear, anxiety, psychological damage, emotional distress, humiliation, and inconvenience should be part of the suffering. Fear resulting in the fright and terror of dog attacks and emotional turmoil caused by the incapability to care for dependents or pets because of the injuries are serious considerations.
2. Collect All Necessary Evidence
Nothing raises the odds of getting a generous compensation package than having the best proof of the dog attack. Without evidence of the damages, the insurance company will not heed your request. Thus, gather all the needed proof of your injuries. The more evidence there is, the easier it will be to convince the company to boost the compensation.
Collect all the evidence, including medical records with doctor’s notes describing the injury, photograph/video footages, witness statements confirming the dog attack, and statements from caregivers confirming that they’re helping you with daily activities.
3. Describe Your Pain and Suffering Clearly
When you meet with the insurer, explain how the dog injuries have affected your life during and after the attack using clear language. Do not exaggerate anything during your description. Make your explanation detailed and include what you saw, heard, and felt. You want the insurance company to express sympathy for a compelling and heartfelt story.
Additionally, if the case involved a dog attacking your dog, be prepared to list all damages that you incurred due to the injury or possible loss of your beloved pet.
4. Manage Your Settlement Expectations
While trying to increase the compensation, have a realistic expectation of the settlement. Even with excellent evidence, you shouldn’t expect a large amount of money. Sometimes, it’s challenging to get the insurance adjuster to pay the special damages/hard costs (like medical bills or wage statements from your employer). Thus, you’ll need to present a great case to get a reasonable amount of compensation.
5. Be Willing to Negotiate Down from Your Demand
Ask for the highest claim amount when you begin negotiations knowing that you’ll negotiate down from that original demand. If the insurer agrees to pay for the hard costs, you may want to consider compromising on the pain and suffering part of the claim. Your goal is to get a reasonable settlement and not to be instantly wealthy.
Negotiating for compensation for a dog bite claim can be tricky and requires some appropriate preparation to succeed. Thankfully, the above tips can help you do so. Regardless, if you reach a point where legal help is necessary to receive a fair settlement, consult with an attorney at any time during the claim process.