Every day, there are hundreds of car accidents across the country. Many of these are handled without the need of a courtroom, but virtually every insurance adjuster and agent will tell you that the most sensible thing you can do if you are involved in a car accident is to call the police to have a report filed.
The reason behind this is simple; If you are involved in an accident with another person and the two of you are the only witnesses involved, then it becomes an issue of “he said, she said.” If they take you to court later on, the only testimony you can provide is your own. This is why they tell you it simply makes sense to have the police come to make sure that no one is trying to claim that something more severe happened than what actually occurred.
Treat a Dog Bite Incident Like a Car Accident
Another type of incident where it makes sense for you to contact the police is if you have been bitten by a dog or someone has been bitten by yours. Before continuing any further, it is important to make some exceptions about this right off.
If your spouse or your own child was bitten, there is really no reason to fill out a police report. The chances are negligible that anybody seeking any legal action against you later on, or you seeking legal action against them, so a police report is not necessary here.
However, when dealing with others, even if they are close friends or neighbors, it makes sense to have a report filed for any kind of serious bite. If you have had to seek medical attention as a result of the incident, or you are expecting that you are going to need medical attention, then calling the police to fill out a report is beneficial for you.
Your Insurance Company Will Want a Report
Whether the incident happened on your property or not, you can be sure that somebody’s insurance company is going to want information about what exactly has happened. Homeowner’s insurance, business insurance, or any other kind of property insurance organization is going to be liable for whatever damages occurred.
Insurance companies are going to be seeking documentation that will enable them to have a clear idea of the incident and who was responsible for the occurrence. By having a police report on hand to give to the insurance company, you save yourself a lot of hassle and you give them a lot of ammunition should you be the person who needs to be protected, or if you need to sue the owner of the animal.
If it is you who was bitten and you need medical attention, your health insurance company is going to want to know the details as well. They will most likely be seeking to take legal action against whoever was responsible for the dog bite, and will be looking for information that can assist them in you getting compensation.Your Lawyer Will Want a Report
Having a police report will give your personal injury attorney the right information that can assist you in either a civil suit against the person whose dog bit you, or in assisting you with your defense should someone claim that your dog has bitten them.
Keep in mind that juries and judges will accept the expert opinion of a police officer more than of any other person. This is why having a detailed report from the officer of exactly what happened can be of great benefit to you in a courtroom situation.
Protect Your Rights and Don’t Get Taken Advantage Of
One of the biggest mistakes that people make in car accidents is that they will be hit by somebody and that person will give the most unbelievably sad story about how they simply can’t afford to have this reported to the police. Maybe their insurance premiums are already too much, or they are in danger of losing their license.
What they do is convince you to be a nice person about it and not bring this to the police’s attention. Then, months later when you have large doctor bills that need to be paid and you can’t afford them, you are stuck because you can’t prove that this person hit you.
The same thing can happen in an incident where a dog has bitten someone. The dog owner doesn’t want to see their dog potentially put down, so they beg you to look the other way this one time. You, being the compassionate dog loving person that you are, don’t want to see this dog being quarantined or euthanized, so you agree.
A little while later, you realize that you need stitches or that your hand is severely infected, but you have no proof that this dog bit you. So you are out of luck in terms of how the medical bills will be paid. We all want to be compassionate, but the truth is that you need to look out for your long-term interests. Filing a police report is a safety measure to protect you.
Contact a Lawyer
You also want to ensure that you contact an attorney within 24 hours of the incident. Whether you are the person who was the dog owner or the person bitten by the dog, you are going to need legal advice, so finding the right attorney to assist you is imperative. The last thing you want is to be hurt in the legal system, so hire somebody who will know how to navigate the courts to protect you.
Call our Personal Injury team at (480) 467-4392 to discuss your case today.