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Family faces $4,200 bill for dog bite surgery

Often, a dog bite injury involves a long-time family pet and occurs, unexpectedly, in the most normal of circumstances. This is one of those stories. Recently, a mother asked her teenage son to help clean the family dog after he came inside with mud on his paws. The 14-year-old boy attempted to do so, but the dog became spooked when his paws were grabbed. This led to a dog bite close to the boy's left ear. The resulting wound was very deep and the boy appeared to be losing a lot of blood.

The boy's parents rushed their injured son to a hospital emergency room where they engaged the services of a plastic surgeon to make sure that their child was not scarred for life. The plastic surgeon expertly closed the wound and there appeared to be no lasting effects from the incident. However, the couple was later shocked to receive a $4,200 bill for the surgery.

Despite having medical insurance, the family learned, the insurer refused to cover the surgery, despite the fact that the emergency room services were covered under the policy.

Although the plastic surgeon was recommended to the couple by an emergency room doctor, he was regarded as "out of network" by the insurance company. As a result, the insurer would pay no part of the bill, despite the fact that the couple had no knowledge of the doctor's "out of network" status. It also turned out that the plastic surgeon in question does not accept any insurance plans, although the couple was not informed of this before he began to perform the surgery.

The family now believes that the insurer should pay for the surgery since it was provided on an emergency basis and was deemed medically necessary, rather than just performed for a cosmetic reason.

This is just one example of the potential long-term effects of a dog bite injury. It demonstrates the importance of utilizing a personal injury attorney to help guide your family through the aftermath of a dog bite or any other incident.

Source: LoHud.com, "Dog bite brings $4,200 surprise - New City family discovers doctor was out of network," Laura Incalcaterra, Aug. 18, 2011

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