Do You Have a Strong Dog Bite Case?
If you would like to discuss the strength of your case, call Cohen and Cohen, P.C. to schedule a consultation with an experienced dog bite lawyer Frederick MD offers. Our legal team has helped thousands of injury victims recover the maximum amount for damages.
Before speaking with a dog bite lawyer in Frederick MD, it can be very difficult to accurately gauge if you have a strong case against a negligent dog owner. Our attorneys at Cohen and Cohen, P.C. provide free initial consultations. Before discussing your case with an experienced attorney, you may find the following information helpful.
The Elements of a Strong Dog Bite Case
As a skilled dog bite lawyer Frederick MD provides will probably tell you, several things must be considered before pursuing legal options. There are three main elements to a strong dog bite case:
- Liability. Is there a reasonable likelihood that the defendant can be found liable for the dog attack?
- Insurance. Does the defendant have one or more forms of insurance (or easily liquidable assets) that can cover:
- Your damages including medical costs and lost wages, etc.?
- Your attorney’s fees and other legal costs?
- Serious injury. Does the dog bite injury merit significant financial compensation?
Liability in a Dog Bite Case
The requirements for proving liability vary according to the location where the attack occurred. A dog bite lawyer Frederick MD injury victims trust can determine which laws apply and how they affect the strength of your case. Depending on the law’s requirements, you may have to prove one of the following three facts:
- The dog that attacked you had previously attacked someone else, or indicated that it would attack if the opportunity presented itself. In addition, the dog owner or person responsible for the dog was aware of the dog’s history of aggression.
- A third party, such as the dog owner’s landlord, acted negligently in some way which caused or allowed the dog attack to occur.
- A third party broke a law, such as an animal control leash law, and by breaking that law the dog attack occurred.
The second element of a strong dog bite case is that the liable person has sufficient insurance to cover the damages and legal costs. Most often, a Frederick MD dog bite lawyer will work on a contingency fee basis. This means that if they are not able to negotiate a settlement or win the lawsuit they will not require payment. However, if the dog bite owner does not have insurance, they will not likely be able to pay damages. In all likelihood an attorney will not take the case if there is no means to pay for his or her services.
- Homeowners usually have homeowners insurance that will cover damages from dog bite attacks. This includes mobile home and condominium owners.
- Renters often have renters insurance that will cover damages from dog bite attacks. This includes mobile home and condominium renters.
The more serious a dog bite injury is, the more compensation the victim is likely to receive because the costs will be higher. After meeting with a dog bite lawyer Frederick MD residents turn to in similar cases, you will have a better idea of how much compensation you may be entitled to. Cost factors that your attorney will consider include:
- Medical treatment including emergency procedures, medications, surgery, etc.
- Lost wages, including future wages.
- Emotional injuries. An example is post traumatic stress syndrome as a result of the dog bite attack.
- Scar reduction surgery or compensation for scarring.
- Emotional counseling.
- Physical rehabilitation counseling.
Additional Factors to Consider Before Taking Legal Action
The American legal system can be complicated and frustrating for victims. It can also be expensive which is why it is important to carefully consider whether or not to proceed with legal action. A dog bite lawyer Frederick MD locals choose may not want to take your case if he or she does not feel it is strong enough. In addition,
- Dog owners can claim that their dog was intentionally provoked by the victim and that is why the attack happened which means they are not liable for damages.
- Dog owners can claim that the victim was trespassing when the attack occurred, which protects the owner from liability.
- Dog owners can claim that the victim had knowingly assumed the risk of being injured by the dog and so the owner is not liable. Examples of such victims are dog groomers, mail carriers, or dog walkers.
- The dog bite victim’s settlement from the liable party can create taxation challenges for the victim, in particular if that money is invested after the victim receives it.
- If the dog bite victim already receives government assistance or benefits, a settlement can cause them to lose those benefits. A dog bite lawyer Frederick MD residents rely on can make a reasonable determination beforehand if this will be the case.
- If the dog bite victim is a child, he or she will likely have to testify in court about the dog attack.
- This can be an extremely traumatic experience for anyone, and especially for a child. When meeting with a dog bite lawyer Frederick MD families choose, you will want to discuss this possibility.
- Even if the case is not likely to go to trial, a fair settlement may not be possible. In that scenario, your child will probably have to testify.
- Another consideration is that whether there is a trial or not, your child may have to take a deposition and explain in detail exactly what happened before, during, and after the dog bite attack. This can be every bit as traumatic as testifying in a courtroom.
Every dog bite case is different so to determine the strength of your case it is best to have an attorney review the events and available information. If you need to speak with a top dog bite lawyer Frederick MD offers, call us today to speak with an experienced attorney at Cohen and Cohen, P.C.