If you were hurt by a dog, you may be considering a lawsuit to cover your damages. If you had your own dog with you and it was attacked by another dog, you can also recover damages for your dog's injuries. Most dog bites are covered by the dog owner's homeowner's insurance, but there can be some issues when it comes to receiving compensation. Here are some questions you may have:
Who Owns the Dog?
If you do not know who the dog belongs to, you may have issues getting compensation. You need to find out who owns the dog to move forward with a personal injury claim for a dog attack. If the dog does not have a collar with the information listed on it, your attorney may be able to work with the police and the local animal control officer to try and secure the dog's information so you can start your claim.
How Much Can You Receive for a Claim?
One important part of your claim is knowing exactly how much your damages are. The best way to do this is to seek medical attention for yourself and your dog if necessary. You should ask for an itemized bill for all of your medical costs. Also factor in any lost time from work if you had to take time off from your job to heal, go to appointments, take your dog to appointments, and so on. You may also ask for compensation for pain and suffering in some cases.
Can You Prove You Did Not Provoke the Dog?
For a dog owner to be found liable for your injuries, you have to provide proof you did not do anything to provoke the attack. You have to show evidence that you in no way did anything that caused the dog to attack you. The owners of the dog may try to argue that you did something that caused the attack. Your attorney can help you develop a strategy and collect evidence that shows you did nothing to cause the attack.
Were You Doing Anything Illegal?
If you are attacked by a dog, you have to ensure you were not doing anything illegal at the time. For example, if you were walking in an area that you should not have been in or were walking on someone's private property, you may have trouble winning your claim.
Dog attacks can be very scary and cause a lot of damage. Make sure you are working with a dog bite attorney if you are thinking about filing a lawsuit.