Tagged: Legal Representation

Your Dog Bite Claim Timeline

Filing a Claim for a Dog Bite

Your Dog Bite Claim Timeline

A dog bite can lead to a confusion of events and processes. Understanding the process for a dog bite claim will help you better navigate through your injury. Know what to do within certain amounts of time to help secure your compensation for any injuries you received during the attack.

Immediately After the Dog Bite

seek medical attention before pursuing a dog bite claimDirectly after a dog attacks, you should obtain medical treatment and notify authorities. Contact both animal control and your local police force and report the dog attack.

Seeking medical treatment will not only ensure your health, but also create a professional record of the attack that occurred. Reporting the attack to the local authorities will help minimize the risk of the dog attacking someone else. If the owner of the dog is unknown at the time, the report will also ensure the dog is secured for owner identification.

48 Hours After the Dog Bite

After you are medically stabilized, the doctor can create a preliminary medical report of your injuries, which will include the extent of your injuries and the cost related. At this point, you will need to contact a dog bite attorney, such as Scott T. Gegenheimer, who will assist you in pursuing a claim against the owner of the responsible dog.

Louisiana, being a strict liability state, places responsibility of the dog’s actions on the owner, regardless of past behavior. Barring that you did not provoke the dog by trespassing on private property or with animal cruelty, you are entitled to compensation.

Within 1 Week of the Dog Bite

Your attorney will send notification of the claim to the owner of the dog. This notification allows the dog owner time to seek representation and respond to the complaint. Normally, the dog owner will have 15 days to file an answer.

Within 4 Weeks of the Dog Bite

The continuation of the process will depend on the dog owner’s answer to your complaint. If the dog owner chooses to settle the claim outside of court then your attorney will help you receive the compensation you need based on your injuries and future treatment requirements.

If the dog owner decides to take the claim to trial then you and your attorney will compile evidence of the attack. You and your attorney will gather your medical records and police reports, contact any eyewitnesses, request depositions, and gather any additional evidence.

Scheduling a Trial

1_01-FilingaClaim_statecapitolYour attorney will proceed to continue the process of the claim by scheduling a court date. As availability differs based on the number of current claims, your court date and length of the trial will vary.

When the trial concludes, you will be awarded your monetary compensation or the dog owner will be found not at fault. If you wish to challenge the court on the ruling, you may file an appeal.

A Reminder for Dog Bite Injuries

Louisiana allows you to file a personal injury claim for one year after the incident. It is best to file the claim as soon as possible in order to preserve evidence and get the compensation you need for your injuries. You also do not have to wait to file a claim until you are finished receiving treatment.

Filing a dog bite claim quickly and getting assistance from a personal injury attorney will help ensure you are compensated for your injuries. Call Scott T. Gegenheimer today for assistance in your dog bite incident.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

 

Common Slip and Fall Causes

Slip and Fall Causes

It happens to everyone, we trip on a foreign substance or slip on a wet floor, and most of the time we recover with nothing more than embarrassment or a small bump. Sometimes however, the trip or slip and fall causes us to receive injuries far worse than a minor bump. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 800,000 people a year end up hospitalized because of a fall injury. Often, slip and fall incidents stem from similar causes and may even have been avoided if the proper maintenance was followed.

The Common Slip and Fall Causes

Building Code Violations

Homes and company buildings must meet specific code requirements to be considered safe for people to use. A common cause of a trip and fall accident is a staircase not meeting regulations in height standards. The International Council Code states that the optimum height increase for stairs is between four and seven inches, any more or less can result in an injury due to unusual heights. The stair treads and risers should also be the same.

Other surfaces within a building, such as uneven or loose flooring, may also cause you to slip and fall. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, requires ground surfaces, including floors, to be stable, firm, and slip-resistant in residential property. The United States Department of Labor keeps work areas safe with regulation 1910.22(a)(3) stating, “Walking-working surfaces are maintained free of hazards such as sharp or protruding objects, loose boards, corrosion, leaks, spills, snow, and ice.”

1-01-SlipandFall_RootsLiftingSidewalkUnsafe Walking Areas

Property owners have a responsibility to maintain their property both inside and out. Doorways, hallways, sidewalks, and lawns need to be taken care of in order to prevent a dangerous situation to others. As stated in the United States Department of Labor regulation, walkways and store aisles need to be kept free of hazards. Weather conditions are not an acceptable excuse for dangerous walkways. Property owners who fail to make surfaces safe increase the risk of causing an injury to someone on their property. Property owners must create slip-resistant surfaces while it’s raining to prevent slips and falls.

Another aspect of keeping safe walking areas safe is proper lighting. Without enough light in an area, people have little chance to spot dangers or even choose to avoid dangers such as holes, uneven surfaces, or obstacles. While the requirement changes for different areas, the USDOL demands that workspaces such as offices have a minimum of 30 lumens per square foot. One lumen is the amount of a light a single candle gives to a one-foot square that is one foot away.

Rain can cause unsafe walking conditions. Other Causes

You may also find more unusual instances to be the cause of a slip and fall accident. Elevators not aligning with their designated floors or tree roots lifting sidewalks may cause someone to trip and receive a painful injury. In these instances, if the owner of the property failed to warn you of the potential hazard or should have known about the unsafe condition and failed to fix the problem, then they could be responsible for your injury.

When a slip and fall accident is caused by one of these more common reasons, it is likely you are not at fault and could receive compensation for your injury. If you slip and fall because of uneven stairs or walkways, slippery surfaces due to weather conditions, poor lighting, or a more unusual reason, you may not have to pay for your injury yourself. Call Scott T. Gegenheimer today if you were injured during a slip and fall accident for a free consultation.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

Dog Attack Treatments and Compensation

Dog Attack Treatments and Compensation

Dogs can cause lasting, physical and emotional damage when they bite. Some attack injuries require specialized dog attack treatment or long-term treatment that is costly and demanding. When a dog attacks, it is important to know what kind of treatment you may receive and also what you can be compensated for so you are not left paying for the costs out of pocket.

Dog Attack Treatments Range in Price and Time Length

Standard Treatments

When a dog attacks you, certain precautions are taken by all physicians to prevent further complications. The wound will be cleaned to remove all debris and sterilized to prevent infection. You may dog attackalso receive an antibiotic to help prevent infection and fever. If the dog cannot be identified or the owner does not have verification of shot records, then you could be subject to a rabies treatment as well. This treatment includes six shots over a course of about 30 days and must be started early. Your physician will also administer any treatments including stitches, other vaccinations, and bandaging to help the wound heal and prevent further problems.

The American Academy of Family Physicians has stated that those who already have the following health conditions run a higher risk of infection when a dog bites them.

  • Chronic disease
  • Chronic edema
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Immunosuppression
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Previous mastectomy
  • Prosthetic valve or joint
  • Splenectomy
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

Specialized Treatments

Some dog attacks result in more serious injuries that require specialized treatments. Disfigurement, scarring, broken bones, and torn muscles among other physical injuries can cause a dog bite vtreatment for a dog attackictim to undergo long-term treatment. Those attacked may have to consider reconstructive or orthopedic surgery and physical therapy to regain full function of their muscles and features.

Victims of dog attacks could also suffer psychological problems, which could affect their feelings for dogs for years to come. In this case, the person who was attacked would most likely need to seek therapy for the incident due to the mental anguish and suffering due to remembering the attack or being confronted by dogs in the future.

Compensation

You can receive compensation for the injuries you receive from a dog attack as long as the attack was not provoked. The owner’s insurance company, whether it’s homeowner’s, renter’s, or landlord’s, will cover the expense of your injuries, both standard and specialized treatments. If the owner is uninsured, the expenses will fall onto the owner to pay out of pocket. If the insurance companies are limited to a certain dollar amount for compensation, the owner of the dog is still responsible for the remaining costs.

Importance of Hiring an Attorney

There are many steps in securing your compensation from the owner of the dog that attacked you. Navigating through the insurance, animal control, and police report paperwork can be confusing. An attorney can help you ensure the correct filing to get you the compensation you need. Many dog attack related claims also never reach court because of the insurance company’s push for an outside settlement. While this may not seem like a big deal, without an attorney you could be compensated far less than what you are entitled to for your injuries.

Dog attack treatments range from standard medical treatment to specialized or long-term treatment depending on the extent of the injuries. Hiring an attorney to represent you after a dog attack will help you get the compensation you deserve to cover all your injury-related expenses. Call an experienced dog attack lawyer such as Scott T. Gegenheimer if you are attacked by a dog and find out what you can be compensated for.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

Slip and Fall Due to Poor Lighting

Slip and Fall from inadequate lighting

The simple things, such as level ground, dry surfaces, and adequate lighting ensure that we won’t trip or sustain a slip and fall. While it may seem extremely simple and even obvious, many times they are overlooked. We often end up falling and injuring ourselves on these dangers that are improperly designed, improperly constructed, or not maintained.

Poor visibility due to inadequate lighting is one of the common reasons slip and fall accidents occur. If you do have an accident because of poor design and inadequate lighting you may even be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Slip and Fall Accidents are Often Caused by Poor Lighting

Poor lighting can hide obstacles. How lighting Causes Slip and Fall Accidents

Lighting can make in impact in how you navigate the area. When there is poor lighting, you may trip over something you would normally see if there was actually enough light. With adequate lighting, you would notice the last step in the stairway or the obstacle in the middle of the office. When you trip over avoidable obstacles due to poor lighting, the business owner may be responsible.

Lighting can protect you from other hazardous conditions. A hole in the ground or obstacle on the floor could still be dangerous even with adequate lighting. The poor lighting gives you almost no chance to spot the danger. It also prevents you from deciding if you want to take the risk of confronting the hazard at all. In each instance, lighting causes unsafe conditions and may be the reason you trip or slip and fall.

Lighting Requirements

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the United States Department of Labor requires work areas to have minimum illumination amounts for the safety of employees. Offices and first aid areas require a minimum of 30 foot-candles, which is defined as “the light level at a distance of one foot away from a standard unit candle.” General construction plants and shops require 10 foot-candles and exits and stairways require at least five. These minimums must be met for employees, guests, clients and customers to prevent unsafe working conditions.

Common Areas with Inadequate LightingSlip and fall accidents occur in hallways with poor lighting.

  • Stairwells
  • Hallways
  • Parking lots
  • Bathrooms
  • Pool areas
  • Mall shopping centers
  • Stadiums

What Happens when there is Not Adequate Lighting

When companies or employers fail to provide adequate lighting which then causes an employee or customer to trip, the injured person can file a negligent claim against the company for the state of the working conditions. The company whose working conditions were not up to OSHA’s standards may be responsible for the injuries of the employee or customer. The injured may be able to receive compensation for loss of wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. It is the property owner’s duty to keep the premises well-lit according to OSHA’s standards to prevent people from receiving injuries, failure to do so can even result in punitive damages.

If you tripped or slipped and fell and received injuries on a property due to inadequate lighting you could be entitled to compensation for the damages you received. Contacting an attorney right away and preserving evidence will be your top priority after getting treatment for your injuries. Many property owners will not fairly settle a claim without legal representation so contacting an attorney is extremely important when dealing with a slip and fall injury. Contact Scott Gegenheimer today for a consultation about the injury you received due to the poor lighting conditions in or around any buildings.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

What Should I do if a Dog Bites Me?

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Man’s best friend isn’t always friendly. Sometimes our furry companions turn against us and become aggressive and violent. Dogs can be unpredictable and put you or others you know in harms way. It doesn’t matter whether you are familiar with the dog or have never seen it before. If a dog becomes aggressive there are certain steps you should take to ensure you or your loved ones are safe and covered for the injuries incurred during the incident.

Treatment

Dogs have sharp teeth and can deeply puncture your skin to cause serious damage. Don’t wait to see if the wound will heal by itself; seek medical attention immediately after the incident. A physician will examine the wound for muscle, tendon or even bone damage, and administer the proper treatment. Additionally, you run the risk of infection when bitten. If the health of the dog is unknown, you may contract rabies and a rabies shot will be needed. A physician may also prescribe you antibiotics to prevent infection.

Get witnesses after a dog biteProof

After you are out of harms way and have calmed down you’ll need to document proof of your attack. Have someone you know and trust get the following information while you are seeking medical treatment. Have them talk to the witnesses of the attack and get their contact information for future reference. You should also take pictures of any wounds you received during the attack so you have evidence of the extent of the wound after you receive treatment. If the owner is present, have someone get their contact information too and ask for copies of the vaccinations their dog has received. Contact their vet shortly after the attack to verify the vaccination record.

Report the Incident

Contact the police after a dog biteYou’ll need to report any dog attack to animal control or the police and give them the information of the owner and the information of any witnesses. You may also get a call from an insurance company if the owner is insured. Be sure to collect the information of the insurance company as well, including the claim number and the amount of money set aside for your medical expenses.

After you’ve obtained proof, received treatment, and reported the incident, consider obtaining an attorney versed in dog bite cases to help ensure you are fully compensated for your injuries.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

Understanding the Compensation Surrounding Dog Attacks

1_01-InjuriesCompensatedAfterAttack

If you’re a victim of a dog bite, you’re entitled to compensation for your damages and losses. But how do you know what you’re entitled to? There are many parts of losses and damages, but they can be generally put in two categories: economic (damages that cost you money) and non-economic (damages that to put to an exact number).

You can get compensated for economic damages after a dog attackEconomic Damages

Economic damages include medical costs such as emergency vehicle transportation, compensation for future operations or cosmetic scar treatment, loss of past and future income or opportunity, defensive measures (such as putting up a fence), and past counseling expenses. It also covers less obvious expenses like future psychological costs, funds expended on a vacation that could not be taken, torn clothing, and more. Essentially, economic damages are explicit expenses incurred as a result of the dog attack.

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages include but are not limited to the pain of the injury and the treatment, mental suffering when confronted by dogs or remembering the attack, humiliation caused by scars, and loss of quality of life due to disability. Non-economic damages are implicit costs.

The owner of the dog is usually responsible for damages.In some states and cases, the defendant may not be solely liable for the injury. Louisiana however is a strict liability state. This means that the owner of the dog that attacked is liable for the injury, as long as the plaintiff was legally allowed to be where he or she was when the attack occurred, and did not provoke the dog.

Your lawyer should establish the full measure of your damages. Medical bills and records, opinion letters written by your primary physicians, and letters from employers are used as the starting point for the case. A private, experienced attorney is the only one who can advise a dog bite victim as to what evidence is needed in any particular case. They will help determine which experts need to be retained to present their opinions, how much a victim should receive for pain, suffering, humiliation and loss of income, and all of the other items of possible loss mentioned above.



This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.