Top 8 Signs You Need the Help of a Dog Bite Lawyer
Every year in America, nearly 4 million people fall victim to dog bites. About 850,000 of those bites require medical attention. Such attacks lead many to seek out a dog bite lawyer to help them get compensation. However, it’s important to understand dog bite laws to know if you have a valid case.
The following guide will explore the top 8 signs you need the help of a dog bite lawyer.
1. You Can’t Prove Negligence
If someone’s dog bites you, they might claim that you were trespassing or that dog provocation occurred. A dog bite attorney can help prove that the dog’s owner was actually negligent, leading to the dog bite.
They’ll help you demonstrate that the dog’s owner had prior knowledge that their dog might hurt someone. They can also help show that the owner should have known because of their dog’s conduct in the past.
A lawyer will also demonstrate that the owner of the dog could have stopped the bite from happening if they were more responsible. Note that vets who sign waivers might not have a case because of “assumed risk.”
2. You Need Help With Compensation
If you can’t figure out how much compensation you’re entitled to, it’s because such estimates require an attorney. Every case has different circumstances and damages to review to get an accurate calculation.
When you hear the term “damages”, it refers to any losses that resulted from your injury. In this case, an attorney might recommend a personal injury claim.
A lawyer helps you find all past damages from the dog bite and any future damages it might cause. After you determine the exact amount of damages, you can start negotiating a settlement with the dog’s owner or their insurance provider.
3. You Have Expensive Medical Bills
Those who suffer dog bite attacks usually end up needing costly medical treatment for their injuries. Dogs have the ability to cause severe injury to bones and soft tissues. A successful dog bit lawsuit can help cover the costs of these injuries.
Attacks from dogs can also cause injuries even if the dog didn’t bite the person that got hurt. For instance, a dog attack might knock a person to the ground and cause a concussion or back injury.
A lawyer can collect evidence like medical bills to help prove the magnitude of your injuries and the medical costs involved. They might also contact doctors, surgeons, or other medical professionals for their opinions about the injuries suffered.
4. You Have Psychological Damage
Dog bites tend to inflict psychological damage as well as physical injuries. If you develop PTSD from a dog attack, an attorney can help you receive compensation.
Examples of PTSD symptoms include flashbacks of the attack, nightmares, and avoiding places or activities that remind you of the bite. You might also have sleep issues, trouble focusing, and mood swings following an attack.
Because these kinds of damages aren’t visible, they’re often hard to prove in court. But an expert attorney can help demonstrate how the bite caused psychological harm.
5. You Lost Wages
If the attack caused you to miss work or hindered your ability to work, an attorney can help you get compensation. Lost income and earning capacity is common after dog attacks.
An attorney can connect with financial professionals and other experts to estimate the value of any income you lost. They’ll also help calculate any reduced earning capacity and other corresponding damages.
6. You’re Running Out of Time
Remember that dog bites result in personal injury cases. In some states, you only have one year from the date of the attack to file a claim for the dog bite.
You probably won’t have the ability to receive compensation for your damages if you don’t file your claim before the deadline. Expert attorneys can help you through the process quickly so that you won’t miss any deadlines concerning your case.
7. You Don’t Know What Steps to Take
An attorney can help you gather necessary information after a dog attack if you don’t know what steps to take. First, they’ll likely ask you to get the dog owner’s name, address, and insurance details.
They might also suggest you get pictures from the scene and of your injuries. If possible, they might request photos of the dog, damaged clothing, damaged property, or anything that might help prove that the owner was negligent.
They’ll also help you gather police reports and medical bills to help bolster your case. They can also press the owner for proof that their dog has received a rabies vaccination.
8. You Want to Prevent Future Attacks
If you don’t take legal action, there’s a good chance the dog might attack another person in the future. Hiring an attorney can help you protect others from suffering injuries.
It’s a responsible way to keep your neighborhood safe if your attack occurred close to home. If you have children, it’s especially important to take action and force the negligent dog owner to face the consequences.
Some dog breeds tend to attack more often than others. If the negligent owner had an aggressive breed of dog, a court case might inspire them to select a more manageable breed for their next dog.
Hiring a Dog Bite Lawyer
Remember the eight signs mentioned in this guide and consider hiring a dog bite lawyer. It’s the only way to receive proper compensation and potentially prevent future attacks from happening.
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