Being the victim of a dog bite is frightening and can also trigger medical bills, emotional suffering, and permanent scars. If a dog bites you, you may need to contact a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation for your expenses and prolonged pain and suffering. When you visit a lawyer in Tracy or Livermore , the first step in determining if you should consider filing a lawsuit is a case assessment. Here is what you should expect.
Assessment of the Circumstances
Your lawyer will start by asking you to explain exactly what happened when you were bitten. Your story must demonstrate that you were bitten in an unprovoked attack and that the dog’s owner should have had a reasonable expectation that the dog could become violent. If you did anything to provoke the dog, even if you were playing a seemingly harmless game, then your ability to get compensation for your injuries could be diminished. In terms of the dog owner’s knowledge of his or her dog’s aggression, if the dog has bitten someone before, there is a reasonable expectation that the dog may become aggressive again. Sometimes, it is difficult to prove that a dog owner is negligent if the animal has never previously bitten anyone. Your lawyer will also want information about where and when the bite occurred, and if you were on private property, if you had permission to be there.
Assessment of the Damages
During your case assessment, your personal injury lawyer will also review your medical bills and any other costs you incurred as the result of the dog bite, such as lost wages for time missed at work. If you received permanent scars as the result of the bite, this prolonged impact of your injury may shape the kind of damages your injury lawyer seeks. Your lawyer may also seek punitive damages and damages for pain and suffering you experience as the result of the bite, such as the stress caused by a permanent scar or a new phobia about dogs that is affecting your life.