Friendly neighbors are a gift; no one wants to step out their front door to antagonism in the neighborhood. But what do you do when your neighbors' dog bites your child? Dog bites can do real damage to children, physically and psychologically, and the medical costs when it isn't your dog shouldn't be yours to bear.
The good news is that there are ways to resolve the problem and, usually, keep the peace on the homefront.
A Homeowners Insurance Claim Can Protect Both Bite Victim and Dog Owner
According to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowners and renters insurance typically cover dog bites. Though an insurer may refuse to cover some breeds, a successful claim should cover your child's medical bills and protect the dog owner from paying out-of-pocket.
Your neighbor may state they prefer to cover the cost of your child's medical care without going through an insurance company. Unless your child's injury was minor and future medical care and any psychological effects are unlikely, our experience at Ackerman & Falcon is that this type of agreement rarely works out. A parent does not want to haggle with the responsible neighbor over the need and cost of appropriate medical care for their injured child.
The Psychological Damage of a Dog Bite Can Complicate Matters
We tend to overlook the psychological toll of dog bites, especially in children. Following the attack, your child may face anxiety, acute fear of dogs, and other psychological consequences that diminish their quality of life.
The possibility that your child may need counseling to overcome anxiety and a fear of dogs should always be considered. It can be difficult to tell at the outset how long the counseling will last.
Call Ackerman & Falcon Today
If your child was injured by a dog bite or attack, it is essential to ensure that medical costs - including ongoing psychological help - will be paid for by the responsible neighbor or their insurance company. If necessary, you may need to take legal action. Ackerman & Falcon can help. Our attorneys understand the importance of doing everything possible to restore your child's physical and mental health and will work in your child's best interests.
Whether you seek an informal resolution to a dog bite incident or need to initiate a homeowners insurance claim or file a lawsuit, contact Ackerman & Falcon today for a free consultation. You can call us at (703) 288-1400 or send us a message online about your case.