If you have to ask yourself, “Should I get a lawyer for a dog bite?” the answer is probably – YES! The CDC reports that 4.5 million Americans get bitten by dogs every year. But do you know that only a few thousand get compensated when it happens? Without an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle your dog bite case, you may never get compensated by the pet owner or their insurance company. If you do get compensated, the amount might be insufficient to cover your dog bite injuries.
If you are the victim of a dog attack, you need to hire an experienced Houston dog bite lawyer to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Our law firm has settled numerous dog attack cases for six figures and won a verdict award of almost two million dollars for a dog attack case. Our law firm has helped accident victims across the United States so make sure to call us for a free consultation.
What the law says about dog bites
In many states, dog bites are defined by strict liability laws. The owner carries the blame for the incident, except for cases of blatant provocation of the animal. Some states have what’s called a “one bite” rule. It is important to seek a free consultation from a dog bite lawyer so you can get legal advice for your injuries and the dog owner’s insurance company doesn’t take advantage of you.
When you get bitten by a dog, the law may not always be on your side and the dog’s owner may not take responsibility. That means that you have legal grounds to sue for medical costs and injuries. It is recommendable to seek legal assistance for the best chance at maximum compensation because dog bites can set you back in life in major ways, including:
· Personal injuries that hinder you from enjoying your normal life as before
· Missed workdays and loss of income
· Pain and suffering during and after the incident
· Emotional anguish from the incident
· Medical bills and financial distress
Each of the above-listed items is compensatory damage. Your chances of getting the compensation that covers every aspect comprehensively as above depend on how well you prepare, present, and argue your case. That is where a dog bite lawyer comes into play.
Dog bites laws vary by state, making them a tad more complicated. Also, even though most attack incidents are small and easily handled without an attorney, some pet owners might not be cooperative after the accident. They may lawyer up and refuse to pay for damages leaving you to deal with severe injuries and hefty medical expenses. Getting a dog bite lawyer makes things right.
Lawyers help when there are severe injuries
Compared to auto accidents or occupational injuries, these injuries are usually not as severe. In that case, dog owners never have a problem compensating for the medical expenses of the victim of a dog attack.
But there are cases of severe dog bites and they happen every day. Dog bite injuries may cause the victims to seek several rounds of surgeries. The result in such cases can also be job or income loss and inability to fulfill duties at home.
The cost of the accident, in cases like these, runs into hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. Dog owners and insurance companies seldom part with that money without a fight. You need a dog bite injury lawyer to help you get what you are rightfully owed.
The dog owner is not willing to cooperate
Many dog bite compensations are small enough to be handled by the dog owner and not their insurance company. Still, the dog owner may be adamant about paying your medical bills and related damages. You may have to file a case at the courts to guarantee your compensation.
A dog bite lawyer will guide you on what the dog bite laws say in your state. They will help you prepare the case, file it, and pursue it for your best compensation.
The dog bite lawyer mainly helps to prove liability in the case based on your state’s laws. If you go it alone, you may lose the case, especially where the pet owner has legal representation.
Insurance lawyers put up a fierce defense
Dog bite damages may cost well over $100 000. But that money could remain out of reach because of the legal defenses that dog owners and their insurance companies use against victims. Things may be particularly tough for you if you are going against insurance lawyers known for meticulous ruthlessness. You may end up getting a $1 compensation, or none at all, because of defenses such as:
Trespassing: If the incident happened while you were trespassing, the law does not support any damage compensation. A dog bite lawyer can help you prove that you were in your property or a public space when the animal bit you.
Provocation: The dog owner or insurance company may postulate that you first attacked the dog before it attacked you. In such cases of provocation, the dog owner is not held liable for the accident. A dog bite lawyer can help you make your case.
Dog owner provided warning: Such cases are termed as contributory negligence, meaning that both you and the dog owner are partly to blame for the incident. You may get a very slim compensation or none at all. A dog bite or personal injury lawyer will know the best ways to counter this argument.
A Personal Injury lawyer gets to the heart of the matter.
Not every dog bite case is worth pursuing legally. In some cases, as seen in the above defenses, you, the victim, are on the wrong side of the law. Also, other dog bite cases may have damage amounts that do not merit legal representation. Such is when the compensation wouldn’t even be enough to cover for the cost and fees for your personal injury attorney.
But consulting a lawyer is recommended in all dog bite cases. The attorney will look at your case and advice on the best way forward. If you have a strong case, the legal experts will gather medical evidence, send a private investigator to unearth details of the incident, find eyewitnesses, and get medical witnesses.
The dog bite lawyer then prepares and files the case on your behalf. They advocate for your rights and best interests in hearings, depositions, and settlement negotiations. Most dog bite cases end in a settlement negotiation.
Attorney fees are paid From the settlement or judgment
One of the impediments to finding justice in dog bite cases is the costs involved in seeking a lawyer’s services. Most dog bite victims shy off from working with an attorney thinking that they must pay for everything in advance. The truth will shock you.
In most cases, you don’t have to pay anything upfront. The personal injury lawyer handles the case on a contingency basis. In other words, when the attorney chooses to pursue your case, they are confident that it has merit and, therefore, plan to get paid only after winning it.
They are paid a percentage of your settlement or judge-ordered compensation.
This compensation framework means that you can confidently speak to a dog bite lawyer without worrying about financial hurdles. If your attorney has to file a lawsuit , you may be entitled to more compensation than settling out of court but you have to make a business decision about the risk and reward.
It’s wise to hire a lawyer for a dog bite. Legal representation doubles your chances of getting the right compensation for your damages.
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