Have you or a loved one been bitten or otherwise attacked by a dog? Is that dog's owner now refusing to even admit that they did anything wrong? Being attacked by a dog can be a traumatic experience that leaves both physical and mental scars. Unfortunately, it can also result in lost time off work and high medical bills. In order to be compensated for your losses, you'll probably have to take the dog's owner to court. While small claims court might work for some cases, more serious injuries are unsuitable for this option. You'll need the help of a lawyer. But before you hire one, here are some questions to ask to make sure that you've got the right one for your case:
Have you handled many dog bite cases in the past? Legally speaking, dog bite cases typically fall under the general heading of personal injury. A personal injury lawyer may advertise that he or she will take on this kind of case without actually being a dog bite attorney. The more experience that an attorney has in this area the easier it will be for them to represent you. A lawyer who handles a significant number of dog bite cases is going to be more familiar with various city regulations, such as leash laws and licensing laws. This familiarity may make it easier for you to get the settlement you deserve if he or she can prove that the owner was somehow in violation of the law.
What fees do you charge? Although many types of lawyers will want payment up front, this is not necessarily true for dog bite cases. A dog bite attorney is often willing to work on a contingency fee basis, only taking payment if he or she wins the case for you. However, you may still be responsible for court fees or for witness appearance fees no matter the case results. It's a good idea to know if this is going to be the case if you do decide to hire this attorney.
How long do cases like this take? Each court case is fundamentally different. Unfortunately, it could be months or even years before you see a proper resolution. A good dog bite attorney will be able to give you a better idea of what to expect from your case based both on the circumstances surrounding the case itself and also his or her past experience with similar cases. If you have a very strong case, it's equally possible that you could receive a viable settlement offer within days of hiring your attorney.
Check with a local firm like Trammell and Mills Law Firm LLC for more information.