When you are bitten by someone else's dog, you can get compensation for your injuries by filing a dog bite claim against their homeowner's or renter's insurance policy. After you file the claim, you are going to need to deal with an adjuster from their insurance company. The insurance company's adjuster's job is to work through your claim and settle in a way that benefits the insurance company the most.
#1 Start With A Bigger Amount Than You Want
To start with, you are going to end up negotiating with the adjuster over the cost of your settlement, so you want to make sure that you start out with a settlement offer that exceeds your needs.
In order to know the right amount that you should ask for, you are going to need to figure out your overall costs. First, gather all of your medical bills and figure out the total cost of medical care that you paid. These are your hard costs. Then, work with your employer to create a statement that details all of your lost wages. These are the solid costs that you want covered. Where you have some flexibility is with your pain and suffering, which is the number that you want to increase or pad going into the negotiations.
#2 Emphasize The Emotional Aspect
If the adjuster tells you that they feel that your case is not worth the amount that you are asking for, be sure to emphasize the emotional aspect of what happened to you. Describe the emotions that you felt as you were dealing with the attack itself. Then, describe in detail how the injury has impacted your life.
For example, if the dog bite happened to your dominate hand, so you needed assistance with everyday tasks such as eating and grooming, describe what it felt like to not be able to take care of yourself. If you have children, describe how this injury impacted your ability to take care of your family.
Getting emotional and describing how it really impacted your life could cause the adjuster to then raise their offer. They are going to need to feel that your offer is justified, so describing the impact the dog bite had on you emotionally and how it impacted your life should help raise your settlement offer.
#3 Wait To Think On The Offer
When the adjuster makes an offer more to your liking, do not accept it right away. Tell them that you want to think about the offer over the weekend or for a few days. Taking time to think about the offer will show the adjuster that you are serious and can help push your negotiations along as the adjuster is going to want to settle. When you call back, tell them that the offer is still too low. The adjuster may be willing at that point to offer more so that they can settle your case. Spending too much time on your case is not cost effective for them.
If you are not able to reach an agreement with the adjuster concerning your settlement, consider enlisting the help of a personal injury attorney, such as those found at Eric J. Moore Company, Attorneys At Law, to move your case forward.