Working with a Raleigh Dog Bite Attorney
If a person sustains a dog bite, they may have a permanent scar, a permanent injury, or something that has never fully healed. Medical bills start to pile up if there was an EMS called or a hospital visit. If the person who owns the dog is denying any wrongdoing, without an attorney, it may be hard to get compensation for those injuries.
If a person has been bitten or attacked by a dog, it is important to begin working with a Raleigh dog bite attorney as soon as possible. With dog bite cases, it is important to interview witnesses to make sure they can show that the dog was at fault, and find out what the owner knew and when they knew it. A skilled dog bite lawyer can try to devote the time and resources necessary to achieve a positive outcome for you.
Why Might Someone Wait to Contact an Attorney?
Someone might wait to contact an attorney because they think their injuries are not that bad, and since it was a neighbor’s dog, they are hopeful that they can work it out on their own. While they might be well-intentioned, they would actually be dealing with the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance company and for that, a person needs an attorney.
No matter how much a person’s neighbor or friend likes them, they are really dealing with an insurance company, and their neighborly relationship ultimately has no bearing there. If a person waits to contact an attorney, they may find it difficult or even impossible to track down witnesses, i.e., people who have knowledge about any prior tendencies or acts of the dog and anyone who may have witnessed that the actual attack can be an independent third party as to what happened.
Role an Attorney Plays in an Investigation
When a person starts working with a Raleigh dog bite attorney, the attorney will interview any witnesses to the attack as soon as possible. The lawyer will also obtain any photographs that may exist, and then do some investigative work to see if any other attacks by this dog have been reported. That is important, because of this has happened before, the owner has some prior knowledge that the dog has shown vicious propensities, or that the dog breed itself has a vicious propensity, which will hold the owner responsible for the dog’s actions. During an investigation, attorneys try to determine where the attack happened and whether or not the homeowner’s insurance applies or what other insurance coverage would apply.
How Cases Are Resolved if a Lawsuit is Not Filed
If a lawsuit is not filed, the parties can conduct a pre-suit mediation where they meet and come together to work out the facts of what happened. The plaintiff (injured person) will present their measure of damages and the defense (the owner) will offer an amount of money to try to resolve the case.
Another attempt to resolve the matter without filing a lawsuit would be direct with the insurance company. The injured person can submit a package with all of the medical bills and documentation of damages and try to resolve it directly with the company, that is probably the quickest way to handle it.
A lawyer is not necessary to try to negotiate with an insurance company for the homeowner’s policy. However, anything beyond that pre-suit mediation, if the other side (the owner) is trying to prove that the person’s injuries are in any way their fault, then the injured person probably could not handle that on their own.
How a Raleigh Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help
Working with a Raleigh dog bite attorney can help you avoid some of the common mistakes people make in dog bite cases. Some of these mistakes include accepting the homeowner’s insurance stating there is no coverage, not conducting a thorough investigation as soon as possible, and not understanding the nuances of the common law in North Carolina that has developed around dog bite cases which include dangerous propensity and knowledge of any prior attacks.