By Logan Quirk
Many of us have fallen so deeply in love with dogs that we’ve forgotten that some of them still have a vicious side. If that side comes out and you end up attacked, you need to work with a dog bite lawyer right away.
There is no need to hesitate in that situation. You will need all the help you can get in the aftermath of such an unfortunate incident, and a lawyer can provide valuable assistance.
In this article, we’ll discuss the different ways that a dog bite lawyer can help. Hopefully, you’ll never need to worry about what to do after being bitten by a dog. That said, preparing for that scenario by continuing with this article will be beneficial.
The Dangers of Dog Bites
You’re probably at least somewhat aware of the dangers of dog bites, although you may also be concerned about the wrong things. For many, their concern is with rabies. Rabies can be deadly, and it only makes its presence felt when it’s already too late.
It’s important to note, however, that rabies cases are rare. The chances of you being infected with rabies after a dog bite are low.
Does that mean that dog bites are nothing to worry about? That is not the case as well.
While contracting rabies is not a likely side effect of a dog bite, there are other illnesses you may develop after that incident. One such illness is known as a Capnocytophaga infection.
Symptoms of a Capnocytophaga infection include headaches, fever, and diarrhea. The CDC also notes that severe cases can lead to death. The illness can strike quickly and take a person’s life in 24 hours after the first symptoms emerge.
Aside from the illnesses, the injuries people sustain from bites can also be quite serious. Dogs have powerful jaws and sharp teeth that can cause a lot of damage. A vicious attack from a dog can leave you in bad shape for a long time.
Dog bites need to be taken seriously by all victims. Working with a lawyer reduces the chances that you will wind up in a big financial hole due to the injuries you sustained from an attack.
The Benefits of Hiring a Dog Bite Lawyer
A dog bite lawyer can provide valuable assistance in so many ways. Let’s highlight the different ways in which your legal representative can help you out during what is likely going to be a rough patch in your life.
Your Lawyer Can Take Over while You Recover from Your Injuries
The injuries people sustain from dog bites can be quite severe. When dogs feel threatened or their owner is in danger, they can turn downright deadly.
They will lunge at your arms, legs, and even your head to incapacitate or possibly even kill you. It would not at all be surprising if the injuries you sustained from a violent dog attack kept you bedridden for days or even weeks.
You need to prioritize your recovery from your injuries, but you cannot afford to wait long before acting either. Delaying your actions, in this case, could lead to the owner coming up with a way to escape responsibility for what happened.
Having a dog bite lawyer will prove helpful in that instance because they can get the legal proceedings in motion while you stay in the hospital. You won’t need to choose between your health and your case because your lawyer can handle the legal matters.
Your Lawyer Can Obtain Information from the Dog Owner
In the immediate aftermath of a dog attack, you may have forgotten to ask for the other party’s information. That’s understandable given the remarkable amount of pain you were likely experiencing at the time.
Still, obtaining information from the dog owner is an important part of this process. You need to do it if the case will move forward.
Your lawyer can handle that task for you. Lawyers know how to use legal mechanisms in order to get the information that they are seeking.
In the state of California, they require dog owners to provide their name, address, telephone number as well as the name and tag number of their pet to the person who was attacked no later than 48 hours after the incident. Lawyers are fully aware of that law, and they can use it to get people to talk.
Your Lawyer Can Help Conduct an Investigation
It would be one thing if the owner of the dog that bit you was someone you knew. Maybe you were over at a friend’s house when their dog attacked you. In a case such as that, identifying the pet owner will be easy.
But what if the dog owner was a stranger? Perhaps it was someone you encountered while you were at the park.
Tracking down a dog owner you don’t know will be more difficult, but your lawyer can help during that process as well. They can work together with law enforcement to gather evidence and find the person accountable for the incident.
Many lawyers have plenty of experience working together with law enforcement and will be quite beneficial to you. The odds of the person responsible for what happened getting away with it drops if you partner up with a lawyer.
Your Lawyer Can Determine if You Are at Fault for the Incident
Dog bite cases can be complex. First off, where the incident took place matters in terms of assigning blame.
If you were bit while visiting a friend who invited you, they would need to take responsibility for what happened. Pet owners also need to take responsibility if their pet bit you while you were doing your job on their property.
Being attacked in a public place also means that the pet owner can be held accountable.
Provocation also matters here. If evidence suggests that you were provoking the dog before it attacked you, your case will suddenly look weaker.
Your lawyer can help determine who is truly to blame for the unfortunate incident. After learning who must shoulder the blame, you can act as you see fit.
Your Lawyer Has Plenty of Experience with Dog Bite Cases
Ideally, the owner will assume responsibility for what happened right away and prevent this whole ordeal from dragging out. That doesn’t always happen, though. Self-preservation often takes precedence, and they would rather try to escape their responsibility than face what happened head-on.
To do so, the guilty party may employ tactics to escape their current situation.
Having an experienced dog bite lawyer on your side can be incredibly helpful in that scenario. They are likely familiar with all the tricks that someone might try to get away.
Furthermore, you won’t need to be apprehensive about going to trial if you’ve hired an experienced lawyer. You can feel confident that justice will prevail in your case.
Your Lawyer Can Negotiate with the Other Side
Some dog bite cases can be difficult to parse through. There are so many moving parts that assigning the appropriate amount of blame to all the parties involved may prove to be an impossible undertaking.
Going to trial in a case such as that may not be ideal. The trial could become a long, drawn-out affair that exhausts you physically, mentally, and emotionally.
You may be thinking of pursuing a personal injury settlement instead of going to trial. If you are indeed thinking of going down that route, your lawyer can still help out.
They can negotiate with the other side on your behalf.
On top of that, your lawyer could also advise you if pursuing a negotiation makes more sense in your case. You can lean on their legal expertise to figure out the correct steps to take.
Your Lawyer Can Secure Adequate Compensation in Your Case
The compensation you receive from the offending party needs to be in line with the harm done to you by their dog. Failing to secure that compensation package could lead to you having to shoulder additional expenses, and that’s not a spot you should be in as the victim.
Your lawyer can help you get the compensation you rightfully deserve. They can highlight your injuries while pointing out the lingering effects you’ll need to deal with moving forward. Your lawyer can also demonstrate that your injuries have a lasting impact on your daily life and that you need compensation for that.
Before you and your lawyer even head to court, the two of you can already work on figuring out what kind of compensation you should receive. Lawyers can reference evidence to come up with the right total for the actual damages, and they also know how to calculate damages.
It’s easier to make a compelling case in court if you can show that you seek justice for what happened. You can do that by pursuing a reasonable amount of compensation in your case.
Your Lawyer Can Deal with the Insurance Companies
There’s a good chance that insurance companies will come into the conversation throughout resolving your dog bite case. The other party may instruct you to talk to their insurance company if you want compensation for the incident.
Dealing with an insurance company is not always a pleasant experience. You cannot expect them to give you the payout simply because that is what’s supposed to happen. Insurance companies will fight hard to avoid providing hefty payouts, and they have their own lawyers who will try to get you to go away.
It’s important that you involve your lawyer in any interactions you have with the other party’s insurer. Don’t let them trick you into absolving them of any responsibility by consulting with your lawyer throughout your conversations with them.
Your Lawyer Can Get Results Quickly
Being involved in a dog bite incident can be a truly traumatic experience. It may be something that you want to put behind you as quickly as possible.
Partnering with a dog bite lawyer allows things to move along faster in your case.
As we noted earlier, your lawyer can get to work even while you are still recovering from your injuries.
They can also gather the evidence needed to prove without a shadow of a doubt that the other party is to blame for the incident. Accomplishing that will allow things to progress faster.
Even if you opted to negotiate a settlement, your lawyer could handle that quickly so you could move past this incident as soon as possible.
Partnering with a Lawyer Can Help Improve the Safety of Your Community
Pursuing a case against a negligent dog owner is important not only for you but for your community as well. Pet owners must always control the animals in their care. If they cannot do that, their pets could be a threat to the people in your community.
The thought of an uncontrollable dog being present in a neighborhood where children are playing outside is terrifying.
Acting against the irresponsible dog owner helps prevent others from potentially being attacked. Both you and your lawyer can address that threat to your neighborhood and make it safer for everyone living there.
A dog bite lawyer can help you in numerous ways during what may be one of the most difficult periods of your life. Make sure you partner with one as soon as possible so you can navigate the aftermath of the incident as well as you possibly can.
If you were recently attacked by a dog, please don’t hesitate to contact us at the Quirk Law Group. We are ready to fight to ensure that justice is served in your case.