I was walking with my 2 dogs on a leash down the street when my neighbors dog jump it's fence and attacked my 1 dog. My dog had several bites on his neck, ear, face and leg. In the process of breaking up the fight I was bit on my thumb and 2 figures. My dog had to go to the vet twice so far for treatment. I went to the hospital and got a tentius shot but did not require stitches. She has not contacted her insurance company. Since it is not a large claim, should I contact her insurance company or go through a attorney.
First, you need to report the incident to the police department for the city were this occurred. The police will contact the county health department who will contact the dog's owner. The dog will have to be quarantine to make sure it does not have rabies. Next, you should send a letter to her with an itemized list of the expenses you suffered and the amount you want her to pay. This is what is called a "demand letter". If you get no response, you should consult with an attorney. Even thought it maybe a small case, it is well worth your time to talk to an attorney to discuss your next step.
I hope you filed a report with animal control and/or the police.
First, you have to send her a demand letter, including copies of the report by the police/animal control, and medical and vet bills, by US Mail, with delivery confirmation, asking for payment within X days. If she does not pay within X days you can then file a claim in small claims court. You can find information about the procedure here: http://www.cantoncourt.org/Forms/CivilDiv.aspx
Keep in m ind that even if you win a judgment you may still not collect the judgment - winning a judgment and collecting a judgment are two entirely different things.
You should find out the name of the homeowner's or renter's insurance held by the adverse dog owner and file your claim against the owner's insurance. Before settling your claims, make sure you are fully aware of the full extent of the injuries to yourself and your dog. If you settle your claim too quickly and later require additional treatment, you will not be able to collect any more money after the claim is settled.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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