If you have ever been bitten and seriously injured by a dog, you know how traumatic the experience can be. And while physical and emotional damages are challenging to overcome, we’d like to share with you how a dog bite lawyer can help you receive a significant amount of compensation. Money that can go a long way to helping you and your family recover from such an incident.Do You Have a Case?
A dog bite attorney practices in the area of law known as personal injury. Lawyers in this field represent plaintiffs who have been injured in various types of accidents, including dog bites and animal attacks.
If you or your child is attacked by a dog, a skilled lawyer can prove invaluable in helping you recover the money you deserve. Here are some of the things a dog bite attorney will do on your behalf:
Insurance companies typically try to pressure dog bite victims into accepting an inadequate settlement deal. An experienced lawyer who specializes in dog bite legal services knows what your claim is worth and has negotiated with insurance companies in the past.
Proving your injuries are serious enough to warrant a large settlement can be challenging. You have to provide extensive documentation from every medical professional who has been involved in your treatment.
In addition, you may need testimony from other physicians, known as expert witnesses. An experienced dog bite lawyer will gather and evaluate all the information required to win the maximum payout amount.
It’s important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after a dog attack. However, you may not know the full extent of your injuries until some time has passed. A skilled lawyer will make this determination to achieve the most advantageous result.
Sometimes the opinion of another medical professional is needed to prove your case. A qualified dog bite lawyer has the resources to locate the right individual(s) and obtain the testimony necessary to win the settlement or verdict you deserve.
In addition to recovering reimbursement for your medical bills, you may also be entitled to compensation for non-economic losses. These include long-term pain and suffering and lasting psychological harm resulting from the attack.
While most dog bite cases are settled out of court, sometimes a trial is necessary to win the compensation you are entitled to. In these instances, you need a skilled trial attorney to prepare and present a winning case.
In addition to physical injuries, individuals who survive dog attacks often suffer lasting psychological damage. A victim can develop Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD) along with nightmares, severe anxiety and depression. Or, someone who used to love animals may suddenly be terrified of dogs.
Additionally, if the attack resulted in permanent facial scars, the victim may become self-conscious, socially awkward and withdrawn.
A plaintiff may be entitled to compensation for these non-economic losses, which usually fall under the category of pain and suffering. An experienced dog bite lawyer knows how to assess and prove these damages so the victim receives the highest possible settlement.
Yes. Michigan dog bite laws are very favorable for victims. Dog owners are subject to a “strict liability” statute that holds them responsible for injuries caused by their dogs. The law applies regardless of whether a dog has previously bitten anyone. However, an owner is not responsible if the victim provoked the dog or was on the owner’s property illegally.
Therefore, a person who has been harmed, physically and/or emotionally is entitled to file a lawsuit and collect damages. The owner cannot use a dog’s previous record of good behavior as a defense.
A dog owner is not liable for a plaintiff’s injuries if the victim instigated the attack. Therefore, to win a dog bite case, an attorney has to prove that the plaintiff did nothing to provoke the dog. Insurance companies frequently try to avoid paying out large settlements by blaming the victim. This is especially common when a dog bites a child. While these accusations are usually false, a lawyer must still prove the dog attacked and injured the plaintiff without provocation.
Personal injury attorneys, which include dog bite lawyers, work on a contingency basis.
This means the lawyer’s fee is “contingent,” or dependent, upon the amount of the verdict or settlement. In Michigan, most lawyers receive one-third (33.33%) of the net settlement or verdict.
When your case is settled, the lawyer’s fee is deducted from the check you receive from the owner’s insurance company. In addition, the attorney will deduct out-of-pocket expenses such as postage, copying and filing fees. If a case goes to trial, there may be additional costs for trial exhibits and expert witnesses.
At The Sam Bernstein Law Firm, we offer our clients a No-Fee Guarantee®.
This means you don’t owe us an attorney fee if we don’t win money for you. In other words, we don’t get paid unless you do. Therefore, we will do whatever it takes to make sure you get all the benefits and compensation you deserve.
Dog bite claims follow the same rules as most personal injury cases. This means a victim has up to three years from the date of the attack to file a claim. In some situations, a victim has additional time to file a claim. For example, minors under the age of 18 are allowed to wait until their 19th birthday to bring a lawsuit.
However, it is better to consult an attorney to begin your case as soon as possible. If the victim is a child, the parent or legal guardian can hire a lawyer to pursue a claim on the minor’s behalf.
Dog bite settlements are based on several factors, such as the severity of the injuries and whether there is permanent scarring or other lasting physical and/or emotional damage.
Sometimes, an attorney may advise waiting to file suit until you know the full extent of your injuries, both physical and emotional.
In addition, the dog owner’s insurance coverage also plays a part in determining the amount of the settlement.
In most cases, yes. Numerous studies show that victims who hire personal injury lawyers win larger verdicts and settlements than those who try to go it alone. Keep in mind that the owner’s insurance company will use attorneys and skilled negotiators to fight your claim. Therefore, you need a knowledgeable lawyer with the skill and experience to win the compensation you are entitled to.
If you are seriously injured, call an ambulance or go to the nearest emergency room. If the wound is not severe, wash it with warm soapy water, rinse thoroughly and apply an antibiotic ointment. However, many seemingly minor bites become infected, so you should still see a doctor as soon as possible. In addition, if you decide to take legal action, obtaining prompt medical treatment can help your case.
After seeking medical care, you should document the attack as thoroughly as possible. This includes taking photos of the location, the dog and your wounds. If anyone witnessed the incident, get their names and contact information.
Finally, you should contact a dog bite attorney as soon as you can. A qualified lawyer will advise you on what steps to take next, as well as what you should avoid doing. Having a skilled advocate on your side will give you the peace of mind you need to focus on recovering from your injuries.
The “strict liability” law applies to owners only when their dog bites another person. However, a dog may do something else that results in a serious injury, such as chasing a bicyclist or pedestrian and causing a fall. In that situation, the owner would not be automatically liable for the victim’s injuries.
Nevertheless, a dog owner may be found liable on the basis of negligence. To recover damages, a plaintiff must prove their injuries were a direct result of the owner’s negligent behavior. Examples include owners who fail to keep their dog on a leash or those who allow a dog to run loose by forgetting to close a gate or door.
This is another reason to consult with a reputable dog bite attorney immediately if you are injured by a dog. An experienced lawyer understands these complex legal issues and will build a winning case based on the laws that apply to your individual situation.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog, contact us immediately. We know what it takes to win your dog bite case, and we are ready to fight for the benefits you deserve.
Visit our dog bite lawyer legal services page for more information
Dog bite law is complicated, but finding the right attorney is simple. Fill out our contact 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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