Garden Grove Dog Bite Attorneys
Garden Grove Dog Bite Attorneys
Loyal, affectionate, and energetic—it’s not hard to see why dogs are America’s most beloved pets. However, when they turn aggressive, even smaller breeds have the potential to do serious damage. If you were injured in an animal attack, turn to our Garden Grove dog bite attorneys for legal advice. We have decades of combined experience handling a wide variety of different cases, including animal attacks, car wrecks, wrongful deaths, and brain injuries. Contact us today at 1-800-GO-HARRIS to find out how we can assist with your dog bite suit.
Important Elements to Prove in a Dog Bite Claim
Most personal injury cases are won (or lost) based on the plaintiff’s ability to prove three important factors: liability, causation, and damages. Any weak links, and your financial award may be reduced or outright denied. As such, it’s important to gather strong evidence to plug any gaps that could otherwise be exploited by opposing parties to challenge your claim. At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, our attorneys have in-depth knowledge of the legal processes required to prove each of these important elements in a dog bite case. We can help you gather the necessary evidence and prepare your claim for settlement negotiations, litigation, or trial. Not sure what each of these elements entails? Let’s look at them in more detail:
- Liability: In simpler terms, liability is used to indicate responsibility. Whether it’s during negotiations or trial, you need to be able to demonstrate that the opposing party or their insurance company is responsible for your damages. If it’s found that the defendant harmed you either intentionally or through negligence, they are said to be liable. Keep in mind that even if the defendant did not intend to hurt you, they can still be held responsible for your damages if it’s shown that they failed to take reasonable steps that would most likely have prevented the animal attack from happening. For instance, if you were injured by a dog at a public park, your attorney may assert that the pet owner is liable because he or she did not adequately restrain their animal.
- Causation: An accident happened, and you suffered injuries; this equation is missing an important variable: causation. You will need to show that there is a direct link between the liable party’s negligence and the damages you incurred. This link is commonly referred to as causation. Opposing parties may dispute whether your condition stems from the incident in question. For instance, they may assert that you had a preexisting condition and the accident merely exacerbated it.
- Damages: Think of damages as any loss you’ve experienced as a result of the attack. This can include your medical costs and repair bills, but can also encompass lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses that you would not have incurred had it not been for the liable party’s negligence.
How Long Will the Proceedings Last?
A personal injury case can be a time-consuming endeavor, requiring vast resources and hours of preparation, negotiations, and litigation. As such, most attorneys strive to settle claims out of court, collecting strong evidence to minimize disputes and achieve a successful outcome during negotiations. However, if talks with the insurer stall and opposing parties refuse to agree to a fair offer, you may be left with no other option than to take legal action, which can add to the total duration. Below are a few factors that could affect the timeline of your claim:
- When Will You Recover? Rushing into settlement negotiations without a clear idea of what your future may look like could be a big mistake. Your recovery could take days, weeks, months, or even years. After a dog attack, it’s also possible your injuries will never fully heal. During this time, you might have to fork out thousands of dollars for unanticipated healthcare interventions such as prescription medication, physical therapy, and surgeries. Accepting an offer too soon may leave you with a settlement that does not account for these additional costs, leaving you and your family on the hook for every extra cent. As such, your attorney may advise you to wait until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) before entering negotiations. MMI is the point in your recovery at which your condition is not expected to improve any further. By waiting until this date, your attorney can take steps, such as consulting with medical specialists, to help ensure your estimated settlement accounts for both your current and future medical expenses.
- Do You Have Strong Evidence? If you’re hoping to obtain a financial award, you will need strong evidence to support your claim. Without it, you will likely face disputes which could prolong proceedings and result in reductions to your financial award. Evidence to prove damages may include your medical records, invoices for repairs, pictures of your injuries, and letters from your employer documenting the time you had to take off work. Evidence collected at the place where you were attacked could also play a crucial role in helping identify the liable parties. For instance, surveillance camera footage may show who was responsible for causing the accident, or eyewitness statements could help corroborate other evidence in your case.
- Were You Partially Liable? While you might have gathered the building blocks of a convincing claim, making mistakes in the days after the animal attack could undo all of your hard work. For example, if you posted about the dog bite incident on social media and your comments contradict other evidence in your case, it’s likely you will face disputes which could drag out the claims process. Alternatively, if you ignored your doctor’s orders, the opposing party may assert that you are liable for your injuries as your negligence may have caused your condition to worsen. Your attorney can advise you on what mistakes to avoid and other steps you can take to protect your claim.
Connect with a Dog Bite Attorney in Garden Grove Today
When man’s best friend becomes your greatest enemy, the effects can be devastating. Victims are often left disfigured, debilitated, and in incredible pain. Our attorneys know what it takes to succeed in an animal attack case. During the initial consultation, we can assess your case, answer your questions, and discuss your options. Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS or click through to our contact page HERE to schedule a case evaluation.