What You Should Know About Dog Bite Lawsuits

Dog bites affect millions of Americans each year. While most of those are just nips or scratches, dog bites have the potential to be life-threatening, and even fatal. Dog bites even come with additional medical bills and require special treatment if rabies is expected. 

Medical bills add up quickly and the victim will likely need a series of rabies shots. In severe instances, they might not be able to work for an extended time. They might even need to endure a lifetime of injuries. If you or a loved one are negatively affected by a dog bite, it’s time to consider filing a suit to cover your basic needs.  

These Are The Things You Need To Consider

It isn’t as simple as just filing suit and waiting for your check to come in. There are a lot of things you need to consider before going forward. Most of the issues surround the nature of the event and who is at fault. 

Here’s a checklist to get started

  • Who is liable?
  • Can you prove the owner was negligent?
  • Is the dog already considered aggressive?
  • Did you receive significant medical bills as a result of the bite?
  • Do you have visual evidence of the wounds?

There are other concerns that need to be considered. The professionals behind bayoucitylaw.com/dog-bites-attorney-in-houston-tx/ say that having a well-developed case with evidence in hand is the best way to convince a judge of the defendant’s financial culpability.  The first thing to do is determine liability. Who is at fault for this attack? The liable party could be the owner, the dog walker, or whoever is responsible for the dog at that time. The liable party could even be you. If you provoked the dog, you won’t be able to collect. On the other hand, if the dog escaped a faulty enclosure and bit you, the guardian would clearly be liable(if you can prove it).

Negligence

Negligence is necessary to collect damages and the claimant needs to prove it. There are many ways to prove negligence. Were you minding your own business in a public space? Then the owner will likely be found in the wrong. Even more so if the dog was off-leash or unmuzzled. But if you approached a scared and leashed dog to pet it, you might not receive the award that you expect. 

If the dog is on file with a previous bite, the owner’s case becomes significantly more perilous and the scales will tilt in your favor. If it can be proven that the dog was known to be dangerous, the owner will be liable for anything the dog does. Proving the dog has a history of aggression helps the claimant immensely.  In some states, owners are not liable for their dog’s first bite. If it isn’t too severe, they may throw it out. 

After getting a good idea of the context, it’s time to start collecting the evidence. Photos of the wounds, medical bills, medical reports, and victim testimony are all beneficial to your case. There are many mitigating factors and nuances. That’s why it’s best to hire a professional if your damages are significant. 

You Can Improve Your Chances By Retaining Counsel

Anytime you hire a professional, your likelihood of success goes up. This is especially true in legal cases as law definitions are increasingly complex and specific. If your financial well-being is at stake, hiring a pro means getting serious. Medical bills add up, physical, and even emotional scarring remain for years to come. It’s important to determine a reasonable number of damages. You shouldn’t expect millions of dollars, but you will be saddled with a lot of new financial responsibility and health concerns. Make sure you ask for the amount that you need.

Courts won’t drop payouts for no reason. The defendant’s life is also at stake and the court will approach the problem fairly. The burden of proof is on the claimant. Before any paper is filed, it needs to be determined if liability and negligence can reasonably be proven. Any evidence available should be gathered and the case made. 

Careful identification of both the liable party and areas of negligence determines the outcome of the event. Claimants should be sure to revisit and include any actions by the defendant that contributed to the event. Likewise, the claimant should carefully consider the actions they took that contributed to the bite. 

If all of these things are considered and it looks like there is a legitimate claim to be made with evidence, then it’s time to seek counsel and file suit. Doing so would help you attain justice from the pain caused to you. After accomplishing this feat, you would feel a lot better.