If you or your child is seriously hurt by a dog, you may be able to sue the owner for compensation for your injuries. However, filing a lawsuit and building a successful case is a complex legal process. A law firm or lawyer with a winning track record in dealing with dog bite cases will help you achieve the best possible result. But how do you find the best dog bite lawyer?
You can start by asking friends and family members for recommendations. It’s also helpful to look at the websites of the leading personal injury law firms in Michigan. Once you have narrowed down your choices, call the lawyer(s) you are considering to schedule a remote or in-person meeting. A reputable dog bite attorney will not mind answering your questions, so fire away!Do You Have a Case?
To help you decide, here’s a list of questions to ask during your initial consultation.
If you have a heart problem, you need a cardiologist, not a dermatologist. Just like doctors, many lawyers specialize in certain areas of the law. If you are attacked by a dog, you need a personal injury lawyer who is experienced in dog bite cases. Ask the lawyer you are interviewing how many years of experience they have with cases like yours. Ask how many similar cases they have handled. And don’t be afraid to ask how many of those cases they have won and the amount of their average verdicts and settlements.
While many settlements are not made public, lawyers can provide information about the type of case and the amount of compensation the client received. In fact, many law firms include examples of the verdicts and settlements they have won on their websites.
This is a common question for personal injury victims. However, dog bite settlements are based on several factors, some that may be readily apparent. These include the severity of the injuries and whether there is permanent scarring or other lasting harm. Because a dog attack is a traumatic experience, psychological damage such as PTSD (post-traumatic-stress-disorder) is also taken into consideration. In addition, the dog owner’s insurance coverage also plays a part in determining the size of the payout. So, a prospective attorney may need to gather more information before being able to estimate the size of your settlement.
The time it takes to bring a lawsuit and successfully resolve a case depends on several variables. If you are seriously hurt, a lawyer may want to wait until the extent of your injuries are fully known before filing suit. During your initial discussion, a lawyer should be able to provide you with more information about what kind of timeline to expect.
If you were seriously injured, it’s very likely you will receive compensation for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering. These damages are often the biggest portion of a dog bite settlement. They can include physical and psychological harm, both current and future, resulting from the dog attack.
Pain and suffering damages depend on several factors, including the severity of the injuries and whether they are long-term or permanent. In addition to physical injuries, some victims experience severe and lasting psychological effects after a dog attack. Furthermore, the dog owner’s insurance coverage also plays a part in determining the size of the payout.
Personal injury lawyers generally work on a contingency basis, which means they take a percentage, usually one-third, of the settlement or trial verdict. Reputable personal injury attorneys rarely, if ever, ask clients to pay up front. Rather, they deduct their fee, along with certain case-related expenses, from your settlement once the case is resolved. If a personal injury lawyer requests a retainer or up-front payment, you should view this as a red flag and move on to another law firm.
Personal injury lawyers work on contingency, which means they take their fee after your settlement is received. At this time, lawyers typically deduct the out-of-pocket expenses they covered while your case was ongoing. These may include postage, copying, court costs or expert witness fees. Most lawyers do not collect these costs until the case is resolved. However, it’s a good idea to ask so you will know exactly what to expect when the case is over.
This is an important question. In some large firms, the lawyer you meet with initially is not necessarily the one who will handle your case. Often, a team will be assigned to handle various aspects of your claim. Team members may include one or more attorneys in addition to a paralegal and other support staff. Some firms use case managers, who may or may not be lawyers. Before you decide to hire a lawyer, make sure you’re comfortable with the way the firm handles and supervises its cases.
While many dog bite cases settle out of court, some do proceed to trial. Therefore, you want a dog bite injury lawyer with extensive courtroom skills and experience. What’s more, a lawyer who is prepared to go to court is often a stronger negotiator. Ask the lawyer you are interviewing about their courtroom experience and what results were achieved.
Yes. The typical statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Michigan is three years. While there are exceptions, it is better to file your claim as soon as possible. Otherwise, you could lose your right to receive the compensation you deserve.
At The Sam Bernstein Law Firm, we are fully equipped to handle your case while you remain safely at home.
Research shows plaintiffs represented by attorneys receive larger settlements than those who handle their own claims. For one thing, a victim must provide extensive medical records and other documentation according to stringent filing deadlines. A knowledgeable lawyer will obtain and submit the necessary information in accordance with the legal requirements and timelines.
See our previous guide on why you should hire a dog bite attorney.
In addition, Michigan dog bite law states the attack must occur “without provocation or trespass.” It is typical for the owner or the insurance company to claim the victim provoked the dog. Additionally, the owner or insurance company may claim that the victim had no lawful right or permission to access the property. A qualified dog bite lawyer knows how to counteract these assertions so you receive the compensation you deserve.
Any lawyer you are considering should be able to answer yes to this question. The legal timeline starts from the day you were injured, so waiting to start your case is not recommended. Also, the sooner your claim is filed, the sooner you will receive your settlement. Therefore, you need a law firm with the resources to serve you while complying with the current safety protocols.
“The law doesn’t wait. That’s why we’ve expanded our technological capabilities so we can continue to serve our clients while they remain safely at home,” says Mark Bernstein of The Sam Bernstein Law Firm. “Your pain and your medical bills have not stopped, and neither have we. If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog, contact us immediately. We’re ready to do whatever it takes to win the compensation you and your family deserve.”
Dog bite law is complicated, but finding the best dog bite attorney for you is simple.
Click the button below to fill out a quick form or call 1-800-CALL-SAM today for a free, remote no-obligation consultation from the safety of your home.Do You Have a Case?
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