Dog bites may be the subject of post office jokes, but in fact they are no laughing matter. Dog attacks and bites injure many people every year, in some cases resulting in serious injuries or even death. More importantly, victims of dog bites are entitled to receive compensation for their medical costs, as well as their pain and suffering. With nearly 5 million dog bite victims every year, the need for effective representation from experienced attorneys is apparent.
Dog Bites: Who is Liable?
It is the responsibility of the owner of the dog to ensure that his or her pet is confined in a secure enclosure and is kept under control when around other people. In many cases, negligent owners fail to keep their dogs properly confined. The fact that a dog is not in the yard, however, does not absolve an individual of the responsibility to maintain control over their pet.
The Importance of Securing Legal Representation
A dog bite can be a traumatic event, especially if serious injury results. However, it can be difficult for a layperson to effectively evaluate their claim, negotiate with the other party or their insurance company, or pursue further legal action. Note that it is important to secure the services of a lawyer as quickly as possible, as delaying may result in a more difficult case.
A qualified attorney can effectively evaluate the following aspects of the client’s specific dog bite case:
• Whether or not the owner of the dog was negligent in the measures he or she took to control or confine the pet.
• Had the dog attacked anyone else, demonstrating that it was a dangerous animal?
• The nature and cost of the client’s injuries, as well as what additional compensation the client may be owed from the owner of the animal.
• Whether or not any other parties, such as a landlord or other property owner, may share liability for the dog bite.
Negotiation, Litigation and Resolution
Many individuals fear that obtaining compensation for a dog bite requires a lawsuit, or that a lawyer is only important during a lawsuit. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many dog bite cases are quickly settled, without the need to go to court. In this case, your lawyer will be involved in negotiating with the dog owner’s insurance company, and otherwise obtaining the best compensation possible.
If an acceptable settlement cannot be reached and a lawsuit becomes necessary, your attorney will represent you while ensuring you are fully involved in the decision making process. In this case, the attorney will work to obtain the information needed for the court, interview witnesses and then continue to represent you directly to the judge and jury.
No matter the nature of a dog bite case, finding timely representation from a skilled attorney is vital. By contacting our law offices, a client can be assured of receiving individualized and highly skilled representation from attorneys who are experienced in this field.