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Thread: Dog bite to child & settlement w/insurance company

  1. #1
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    Apr 2006
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    Default Dog bite to child & settlement w/insurance company

    Our daughter was bitten by a stranger's dog/Chow back in May this year. The owner was not able to provide relative Rabies vaccine/dog license info when it happened and we requested such. We had to have PD assist with getting the info regarding the rabies vaccine immediately. The owners tried to hide the dog by removing it from their home even when state dog warden was trying to confirm status of dog's rabiesd vaccine. [ Had to involve state dog warden 3 days later, when the local dog officer was no help and told us to find the dog ourselves] Owner went as far as to tell the state dog warden that the dog had been killed/shot by himself and was buried up the mtn. side. We had to place a call to our pediatrician regarding rabies shots for our daughter due to such. Also was told to pull her out of school to start the shots she would need due to questionable rabies vaccine existance for the dog. In the interum of pulling our daughter out of school and the state warden "yelling" at the dog owner on his cell phone from our porch....the owner changed his story to the dog is alive. When my pediatrician called back, I was informing him that the dog may still be alive actually. [ Bet I really sounded like a competant parent to my child's Dr.] When my husband arrived back home with our daughter after pulling her from school, it stood that the dog was alive and located a few cities from owner's residence [ interpreted as "in hiding" IMO].
    Dog was brought back to residence by owner a couple hours later for us to identify, and placed into a 7 day quarantine [ not 10 due to few days since bite incident have passed].
    Owner informed his insurance company about dog bite. Insurance company immediately cancelled policy [ adjuster told us this info]. Insurance agreed to pay medical bills. They sent payment to their insured's address, addressed to my name. Insured opened envelope and went to my pediatrician office and I received a phonecall regarding someone present at Dr office and is asking information regarding my daughter and the dog bite. They identified themselves as the insured/dog owner. Told Dr office they could accept the payment but were not to give out any medical info in relation to my daughter at all to the person.
    Dog's attack resulted in one tooth bite/puncture to lower abdomen, bruising and scratches to one arm of my 10 year old daughter. Owner insisted his dog only jumped on my daughter and did not bite her at all. We have an ER and a pediatrician report that state dog bite, as well as pics of bite puncture and after healed. The state dog warden also saw the puncture/bite and stated it is a bite. Dog was brought onto a business property where my husband and I work and there exists a no pet policy for the premises. Dog lunged from vehicle and attacked my daughter unprovoked. My husband and I both lost wages for the day due to the dog attack/bite to our daughter. We also incured expense in area of vehicle gas usage. Our daughter has since shown a fear towards dogs that she even knows, including our own. [ I keep a dog of my own due to deafness.] I have not been able to keep my dog in my own home since this attack/bite to my daughter. She is afraid to go near most dogs now.
    We wanted closure to the whole thing with their insurance company. They offered a settlement for our lost wages and gas use. Plus an amount for everything else, including parents emotional distress/damages. Insurance cpmpany sent a release to have notarized. Release states the amount to be exchanged in hand for the release to insurance company. Had my husband call them to set date to personally exchange release and their settlement check. They said could pick up a check for the part for lost wages and gas and they would set up a trust fund for the remainder of the amount for our daughter. [ Amount is less than $3000.00. Which is combined total for our daughter's damages, as well as our emotional damages.] Insurance company refuses to separate out the amounts for us and our daughter. They also want to set up a trust fund in her name that they say they will trustee themselves. Our daughter already has a trustfund her money can go into. Insurance company will not agree to put her amount in the existing account. [ They never even asked what type/ who trustee the account etc. We have no access to that account at all. ]
    Shouldn't the settlement be broken down by damages to our daughter and ours separately? If they want to allocate hers going into a trust fund? Can insurance company regulate that all of it go into a trust fund for daughter, including our damages? Does law state that this small amount in damages be set into an insurance company set up trust fund? Under law, are we allowed to set the child's settlement/damage funds into a trust fund where we choose?
    We have not handed over the signed notarized release to the insurance company as yet. Due to what they state they will do with settlement payment being different than what is listed on the release.
    Any idea where we go with this now?
    Lori

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default ya

    Quote Originally Posted by stretch1514
    Our daughter was bitten by a stranger's dog/Chow back in May this year. The owner was not able to provide relative Rabies vaccine/dog license info when it happened and we requested such. We had to have PD assist with getting the info regarding the rabies vaccine immediately. The owners tried to hide the dog by removing it from their home even when state dog warden was trying to confirm status of dog's rabiesd vaccine. [ Had to involve state dog warden 3 days later, when the local dog officer was no help and told us to find the dog ourselves] Owner went as far as to tell the state dog warden that the dog had been killed/shot by himself and was buried up the mtn. side. We had to place a call to our pediatrician regarding rabies shots for our daughter due to such. Also was told to pull her out of school to start the shots she would need due to questionable rabies vaccine existance for the dog. In the interum of pulling our daughter out of school and the state warden "yelling" at the dog owner on his cell phone from our porch....the owner changed his story to the dog is alive. When my pediatrician called back, I was informing him that the dog may still be alive actually. [ Bet I really sounded like a competant parent to my child's Dr.] When my husband arrived back home with our daughter after pulling her from school, it stood that the dog was alive and located a few cities from owner's residence [ interpreted as "in hiding" IMO].
    Dog was brought back to residence by owner a couple hours later for us to identify, and placed into a 7 day quarantine [ not 10 due to few days since bite incident have passed].
    Owner informed his insurance company about dog bite. Insurance company immediately cancelled policy [ adjuster told us this info]. Insurance agreed to pay medical bills. They sent payment to their insured's address, addressed to my name. Insured opened envelope and went to my pediatrician office and I received a phonecall regarding someone present at Dr office and is asking information regarding my daughter and the dog bite. They identified themselves as the insured/dog owner. Told Dr office they could accept the payment but were not to give out any medical info in relation to my daughter at all to the person.
    Dog's attack resulted in one tooth bite/puncture to lower abdomen, bruising and scratches to one arm of my 10 year old daughter. Owner insisted his dog only jumped on my daughter and did not bite her at all. We have an ER and a pediatrician report that state dog bite, as well as pics of bite puncture and after healed. The state dog warden also saw the puncture/bite and stated it is a bite. Dog was brought onto a business property where my husband and I work and there exists a no pet policy for the premises. Dog lunged from vehicle and attacked my daughter unprovoked. My husband and I both lost wages for the day due to the dog attack/bite to our daughter. We also incured expense in area of vehicle gas usage. Our daughter has since shown a fear towards dogs that she even knows, including our own. [ I keep a dog of my own due to deafness.] I have not been able to keep my dog in my own home since this attack/bite to my daughter. She is afraid to go near most dogs now.
    We wanted closure to the whole thing with their insurance company. They offered a settlement for our lost wages and gas use. Plus an amount for everything else, including parents emotional distress/damages. Insurance cpmpany sent a release to have notarized. Release states the amount to be exchanged in hand for the release to insurance company. Had my husband call them to set date to personally exchange release and their settlement check. They said could pick up a check for the part for lost wages and gas and they would set up a trust fund for the remainder of the amount for our daughter. [ Amount is less than $3000.00. Which is combined total for our daughter's damages, as well as our emotional damages.] Insurance company refuses to separate out the amounts for us and our daughter. They also want to set up a trust fund in her name that they say they will trustee themselves. Our daughter already has a trustfund her money can go into. Insurance company will not agree to put her amount in the existing account. [ They never even asked what type/ who trustee the account etc. We have no access to that account at all. ]
    Shouldn't the settlement be broken down by damages to our daughter and ours separately? If they want to allocate hers going into a trust fund? Can insurance company regulate that all of it go into a trust fund for daughter, including our damages? Does law state that this small amount in damages be set into an insurance company set up trust fund? Under law, are we allowed to set the child's settlement/damage funds into a trust fund where we choose?
    We have not handed over the signed notarized release to the insurance company as yet. Due to what they state they will do with settlement payment being different than what is listed on the release.
    Any idea where we go with this now?
    Get an attorney, tell them that the money is for you to do with for your child as you wish, and they can not make you accept a trust fund situation. The child could use therapy for a while to get over her fears, so a trust fund wouldn't help much. I am not a lawyer, but if it were me, I would tell them that they give you the money, or you get a lawyer, and that would cost them a heck of a lot more, when all is said and done with. I would also consult with an attorney because most work on a contingency basis, they get 33+ percent of what they win for you. Believe me, they will go for the max and the insurance company knows this. Do not settle or work with the insurance company on your own, they are there to pay you the least amount possible!!!! Let us know what the attorney says after the free consultation.
    Last edited by turbowray; 08-19-2006 at 02:53 AM.

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