I was bitten by my (friends/neighbors/relatives) dog, and dont want to bring suit against him. What is the best way to get my needs taken care of without getting the courts involved?

This is a nice sentiment, but it is misguided. It is understandable to get nervous when you start thinking about involving the court system and lawyers, especially when the opposite party is a friend or relative. No one wants to financially ruin a friend. Remember, however, that you are not bringing suit against anybody. The dog owner will not be ruined by your actions, and the insurance company certainly won’t be either. In acquiring the services of an attorney in a dog bite case, you are hiring someone to assist you in filing an insurance claim. This is a big difference. So, why hire an attorney at all? The reason is that insurance companies will usually offer about 10% to 20% of what you are legally entitled to. Without the services of a skilled attorney, you won’t have a good idea as to what a fair settlement looks like, and you might accept far less than you deserve. Is it fair for the insurance company to offer to just pay the medical bills if the dog bite put you out of work for a week or longer? What if the attack left you unable to work at all? What if the dog disfigured your face? Clearly, what the insurance company is doing is not fair at all. Even if the case goes to court, it isn’t the friend or relative that you are bringing an action against. You would be suing the insurance company that is trying to dodge their responsibility. Your friend or relative will not be affected.

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