Dog bites are a serious issue that can cause physical, emotional, and financial damage to people. If you or someone you know has been the victim of such an injury, you may be wondering how to get justice.
Once the medical aspect has been addressed, it’s vital to get legal support. There’s an 8-step strategy that can help make the process simpler and less stressful. This article provides an overview of each step so you can confidently seek justice.
Table of Contents
1. Prioritize Your Health
Get proper medical attention as soon as possible after the incident. Getting checked out by a doctor can help determine what kind of treatment you need, and whether any long-term effects could arise from the injury. Follow up with regular check-ups with your doctor to monitor any changes in your condition or symptoms over time.
The other advantage of seeing a specialist is that they can create a medical record of the injury (including photos and details of the treatment received). Without this, the dog owner could deny that their pet was responsible. The documentation can be used as vital evidence to support your legal claim for compensation.
2. Secure A Legal Advocate
Filing a lawsuit against the owner of the dog involves more than just showing up in court with your evidence. You must prove elements such as negligence or recklessness on behalf of the pet’s owner. An experienced attorney can provide expertise on local and state laws regarding animal ownership so that all factors are taken into account. Furthermore, they can offer insight when negotiating settlements or arguing in front of a judge during trial proceedings.
Boston, USA has a 2022 population of 4,327,000 – including many dog owners. If you need a personal injury attorney in Boston, MA they’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. By using their websites you can get free immediate case evaluations and have live chats online. Statistics confirm that you’ll have more chance of winning your legal claim if you involve the services of a professional.
3. Know The Laws
It’s important to know the different types of laws at play in a dog bite injury case: negligence law, strict liability law, and one’s “duty of care” obligation. Negligence law states that if someone harms another person due to their careless actions, they’re responsible for compensating them financially.
Strict liability applies when it can be proven that an animal was aggressive or dangerous before attacking someone and causing an injury. The law of one’s duty of care obligation for animals is a little trickier. The general rule is that if someone owns an animal, they’re responsible for controlling it and keeping it in a safe environment.
4. Collect The Evidence
Gathering the facts, photos and other pieces of information related to your case can be crucial in proving your claim. Create an itemized list of all costs associated with medical treatment stemming from your injury and any lost wages due to missed work days or reduced hours.
You should aim to collect dog bite photos and details of the pet owner’s name and address etc. Your lawyer can assist you by advising what evidence you need to assemble.
5. Involve The Help Of Witnesses
Gather any available witnesses who were present at the time of the incident. This includes people who may have seen or heard anything relating to the attack, no matter how insignificant it appears.
Even if someone only heard barking, this can still be useful information in court. If possible, try and collect contact information from the witnesses so they can be reached if needed later on during proceedings.
The second step is to record what each witness saw or heard with as much detail as possible. This can be done by either taking written statements or by recording them on video (e.g. using your smartphone). It’s recommended that both methods are used as it adds extra credibility to the case.
6. File An Insurance Claim
Taking on the insurance company to try and obtain the best possible outcome can be daunting and confusing – hence the need for a legal professional. First, it’s important to understand which type of policy covers your incident. Knowing this will give you insight into what kind of compensation you may receive and provide clarity into how much you should ask for. Additionally, it’s essential that all evidence necessary for proving negligence is produced quickly.
Make sure the relevant documents are accurately filled out and promptly filed with your insurer. This will ensure they receive all the necessary information needed to evaluate your case.
7. Negotiate A Settlement
You should research typical compensation amounts for similar cases so that you can come into negotiations with realistic expectations. Before you make a claim, consult with a personal injury lawyer as well. This will enable you to discuss your options and learn about the likely settlement amount.
Once you have a settlement offer, your lawyer will evaluate the terms and help you decide whether or not to accept the deal. If you’re confident that your claim is worth more than what the insurer has offered, ask for additional compensation. Don’t accept a lower amount to gain a quick resolution, as you could end up leaving money on the table.
8. Prepare For Trial
First, it’s essential that you review all of the relevant facts about your case, and collate the necessary evidence. Additionally, you should familiarize yourself with local laws regarding pet ownership and liability. This way, you’ll understand what kind of standards must be met in order for you to prevail in court.
Finally, you should determine the number of damages you’re seeking and make sure they’re reasonable and fair.
Thanks to these 8 steps you can navigate the entire process and put yourself in the best place possible. You’ll have wise guidance at every turn as you submit your legal claim. When it’s all over you’ll have hopefully won your case and gained the financial compensation you deserve. Then you can recover from your injuries and move on with your life as before.