The Process of a Dog Bite Case in Mesa and How You Can Prepare
Dogs aren’t always man’s best friend – especially when they don’t belong to you. They may look cute and friendly, but they can be vicious. Large dogs can disfigure or even kill you if they attack. Even small dogs can cause serious wounds if they bite.
Though you may be traumatized by a dog bite, you need to think carefully about your next steps to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve for what you experienced. Compensation can pay for your medical bills, cover the time you lost from work, and assuage some of the pain and suffering you experienced. You should contact an experienced Mesa injury attorney as soon after your bite as possible. Your injury attorney will guide you through the process, which will include:
Proving that the Owner is Liable
Dogs are going to do what dogs do. You can’t blame them for that, and you certainly can’t sue them. But you can sue their owners if you can show that the owner didn’t take the proper steps to keep others safe from the dog.
To start, you need to show that you were bitten while you were on public property, such as at a park or on the street, or while you were on the owner’s property by invitation, such as when attending a backyard barbecue.
Then you’ll need to prove that the dog bite caused your injuries, which will be easy to do if you’ve got a gaping wound on your thigh or similar. However, if you developed an infection from the bite, and that infection caused other health problems long after the bite, you may have a harder time proving that. The best personal injury lawyers work with a team of investigators and other experts to get the necessary evidence and testimony to prove your claims.
Proving the Value of the Case
You can’t measure emotional distress. But you can measure how much money you lost because you were out of work after the dog bite, and you can add up the medical bills you paid. You and your attorney will work through these and other costs to determine a value for your case.
Where it gets tricky is looking at future medical costs. For example, maybe the bite caused nerve damage that will get progressively worse and will require you to have a surgery (or several), as well as physical therapy. The future may show that the situation is worse than was expected, or better. You and your attorney will have to make a determination with the help of medical experts, and then your Mesa injury attorney will have to prove that claim to the court to get the appropriate settlement.
Negotiating and Litigating
Ideally, your injury attorney in Mesa would be able to take all the evidence and expert testimony compiled in your case and negotiate the appropriate settlement with the insurance company or dog owner. But most people want to minimize their financial liability as much as possible, so it’s unlikely that either the insurance company or the owner will accept that first settlement offer.
Your attorney will then engage in ongoing negotiations with the responsible parties or will take the case to court. If the case goes to court, it could take months for a resolution to be reached, depending on the circumstances of the case and on court schedules.
Being bitten by a dog can be more than just a brief but painful incident. It can be traumatizing, and it can cause serious injuries that require expensive medical care or that linger long into the future. You deserve fair compensation if you were bit by a dog because of an owner’s negligence. It may not have been the dog’s fault for being a dog, but it was the owner’s fault for not taking the proper precautions to keep others safe.
Call Injury Lawyers Mesa if you have been bit by a dog in Arizona. One of our personal injury attorneys will review your case and help you understand your legal rights and options. We are dedicated to helping you get the settlement you deserve for your injuries so that you can heal and protect your future. We offer a free consultation. Call us in Mesa today to talk with an injury attorney about your potential personal injury lawsuit.