Experiences like getting bitten or harmed by a stray dog can’t be avoided. In situations such as this, it is best to protect yourself and exercise your legal rights. If you got bitten and harmed by a dog, or if you happen to witness someone else being hurt, then you should be aware that your state has its particular laws that essentially encourage everybody to act instantly if harmed by an animal. A number of laws even require the killing the dogs that cause injury so as to stop the same incidents from occurring sooner or later. Moreover, you should be aware that dogs don’t normally attack people. They do only when provoked or threatened. Furthermore, attacking may indicate that the animal was attempting to defend itself.
The owner of the dog has a legal responsibility. He is wholly liable for the damages that his dog has inflicted if proven in court particularly if the injured party has sustained severe injuries.
Documents are available that can help you by supporting your case, so you’ll get the compensation that you deserve due to the incident. Try reviewing on local animal sections and see whether the animal that has injured you has had past records of attack.
What Are Your Initial Actions?
• You should note down vital data like the names and contact info of the witnesses of the incident. Importantly, the name, contact number as well as the address of the animal’s owner.
• In court, the witnesses’ stories concerning the incident matter a lot. Their own understanding and version of the event are extremely important. This is even more helpful particularly if the dog’s owner and you get into a dispute. Animal control professionals are there to aid you identify the dog according to your descriptions. In this manner, they’ll be able to contact the owner too.
• If you require immediate action for your injuries, do not delay searching for professional assistance. You need doctors to tend your injuries to avoid further problems from occurring. Furthermore, your hospital bills and documents, and your medical examinations results will act as evidences in court.
Ensure You Preserve Such Important Data
• Once you are attacked, directly report the event to the local authorities. They’ll attempt to get the animal quarantined.
One question that comes into mind every time people inquire about personal injury is – what is personal injury case worth? What’s it worth and how much money is one going to get?
First of all, that would depend on how much insurance coverage is available. As a practical matter, defendants very often either don’t have enough income or assets to make it worth going after them or for whatever reason those are protected. So to most personal injury attorneys, the most important question besides the extent of your injuries and the cause of the accident is how much insurance coverage is available.
They’re going to want to get the defendant’s policy and find out how much coverage is available. There could also be other policies at play including your own uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage. Sometimes people think they don’t when they do and so it is always a good idea to check which many of the lawyers do. Just review the facts to determine what other types of insurance might be in place. In general you get a total amount and that’s going to be an effective cap on what damages are available.
Who Caused The Accident
The next question is whether the cause of the accident is clear. If the other person caused the accident is clearly identified then the next question would be what are your injuries and what are the extent of your injuries. Oftentimes insurance companies will say that you are not injured enough and that your case isn’t a serious case. This is just a lie most of the time and you can always consult your attorney on the matter.
You should always call a lawyer to find out if you really have a strong claim and weather the insurance company is giving you the compensation that you deserve. Sometimes the case really doesn’t justify the work of an attorney but oftentimes your injuries might not be apparent in the beginning or you may just don’t know the extent of them.
Let’s just say that you’ve hurt your neck during the accident. You feel a slight pain over your neck area but you’re not sure whether you should go to a doctor because your body seems fine. But a week later you may find out that the pain on your neck area hasn’t gone or healed.
Under such circumstances, it is important that you reserve any offer that the insurance company might make for your case and call you physician to make a diagnosis of your injury. After that, you need to share the results with your attorney and determine whether you really have a good case.
The Injured Party’s Burden in a Personal Injury Claim
As a personal injury case proceeds to court, the burden of proof will be on the plaintiff or the injured person. He or she must prove the necessary elements of the alleged claim. The defendant or party responsible for the injury does not necessarily have to prove anything under such circumstances.
Within a civil court case, the plaintiff’s burden is not as tough as the prosecutor’s burden in a criminal case.
The plaintiff suing the defendant does not have to prove anything that the defendant do beyond reasonable doubt. The plaintiff on the other hand has to prove beyond the preponderance of the evidence wherein the defendant did as was asserted. So what does this mean? This means that the plaintiff must show that more or less the defendant is responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries.
What Must The Plaintiff Prove?
What does the plaintiff have to prove under these circumstances? Well, it depends on the case. Generally, though there exists four important elements of a personal injury claim wherein negligence is involved. They include:
• The defendant owed a certain responsibility towards the plaintiff
• That the duty has been breached
• That such breach has led to the harm, and;
• Injuries were done from which damages will be paid.
Whatever the nature of your case or claim is, it is important to assert that having a good personal injury attorney would make a difference. An experienced personal injury lawyer can advise you and what to do in order to build up your case.
No one can ever completely avoid personal injury situations like being harmed or bitten by dogs. These situations are not rare and may occur to you or to anybody you know any time.
If ever a stray dog got you bitten and hurt, or if ever you saw someone undergoing the same situation, it’s always sensible to take initial actions so as to properly resolve the situation. This will help protect you and your family from such incidents. You must know that each state contains particular set of laws that will guide each concerned citizen on what to do if ever scenarios such as this occur. These laws will motivate victims to take immediate action. A few laws even entail the killing of dogs so as to avoid future incidents from happening. Dogs rarely attack or bite people. They only do so whenever they are provoked.
The dog’s owner has a legal responsibility under such situations. This must be contemplated on especially if the victim has acquired injuries regardless of the seriousness of such injuries.
Local animal control divisions have their own documents for such matters. You should reassess these documents to make sure weather or not the animal that has bitten or harmed you has done this to other people as well. This is a sensible thing to do since checking documents will aid in supporting your case. These documents provide legal proof against the dog. In addition to that, this will help you in having just and fair discussion with the owner of the dog. If evidences would reveal that the animal is undeniably a threat, then the dog’s owner could be penalized. In a number of cases, the judge might even choose to eliminate the dog if necessary.
Initial actions to take:
• Take note of vital information like the names and contact info of the individuals who witnessed the incident. Take note of the personal information of the dog’s owner as well.
• Remember that witnesses are extremely important individuals that will aid you in going through your case. Their stories and recollections of what happened during the incident will help present additional information to the proper authorities. Furthermore, witnesses can hear out in court.
• Do not be reluctant to look for medical help. Your injuries require proper intervention from your doctor. Getting medical assistance will prevent injuries from getting worse. Furthermore, your hospital bill and medical records will be used as supporting papers in helping you win the case.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Rights
The law will protect the rights of your family so you can be protected from dog attacks inside and outside your property. A dog owner is also accountable for certain responsibilities if ever his dog causes harm or injury to others.
There are three important steps that anybody can take in case of a dog attack:
1. Report what happened to the authorities that are capable of handling animals with control issues within your area like the Humane Society, Animal Control Department, Police Department or Dog Warden. Don’t report that the hospital’s report will do anything about your rights to safety. Hospitals will be reporting for purposes such as health statistics and they don’t do animal control enforcement.
2. Work with the animal control authorities in conducting a “dangerous dog hearing.” Such hearings can lead to penalizing of the dog and the dog owner.
3. Talk to a lawyer about setting a civil claim with the dog owner. The claim will inform the landlord or insurance company and penalize the dog or dog owner. A claim may also lead to substantial compensation for you and your child; even past and future medical treatment.
What If The Insurance Company Does Not Want To Settle?
The claim will now become a lawsuit and such lawsuit will be taking up to dog owner’s time. The truth will come out eventually.
Bear in mind that you must not make statements of what happened in the incident until you are assured that the insurance company is willing to cooperate with you.
Usually, it is best to contact a lawyer who is familiar with the cases in order to get the compensation that each victim deserves.