My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: California
About two weeks ago, my 9-year-old daughter was bitten in the face by a neighbors dog. We took my daughter to the emergency room immediately and she received stitches on a a 1 and 1/2 inch gash. In this case, my two kids and three others were playing outside on bikes and scooters. The dog, which we recently learned does not live there, gets out pretty much when he wants. The dog was out, when my daughter approached it (she loves dogs) at or near the yard of the home (un-gated front yard). At that point the dog bit her.
Anyhow, I would think we have a case. As it were, the dogs owner (and the homeowner) left town the day of the incident. They apparently left the dog in the yard in care of their next door neighbor. They got back yesterday and we spoke about the incident at my home.
I realize that one course of action could have been to hire an attorney immediately to handle the matter. And we are upset, no doubt. But at the same time, we decided to approach this as neighbors, and did not want to have a talk to my attorney line as the first thing.
At this point, the question we are asking ourselves is whether we want to try to handle this ourselves or whether we should bring in the attorney now. In our conversation with the neighbor, which was cordial, they indicated they would file a claim with their insurance. But the first question I have is, which insurance would cover the incident. Their's (they live 600 miles away) or the homeowner where it occurred (the mother of the owner)? Another question, if we decide to pursue ourselves is, how medical costs are done. We have insurance, and these types of things are often covered. But does the neighbor's home insurance company get my health benefits, which we pay for out of our pockets? Or should they pay the costs period?
We have let a little time go by, and have had conversations with the neighbors. But I am wondering if it is time to just bring in the professionals at this point?