Do All Dog Attack Cases Need a Lawyer?
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- Do All Dog Attack Cases Need a Lawyer?
Although dogs are lovable pets found in many homes across the nation, they can also be unpredictable animals bound to attack at any time. Experiencing a dog attack can be an incredibly frightening ordeal for an innocent victim. In addition to emotional trauma, a dog attack can leave the victim with costly medical expenses and life-changing injuries such as disfigurement.
In the aftermath of an attack, the victim may be filled with uncertainties, such as whether to pursue compensation for damages – especially if the dog owner is someone known by the victim, such as a relative or neighbor. And if he or she decides to pursue compensation, then a question arises: Will the claim require the assistance of a lawyer?
If you or your loved one has recently been the victim of a dog attack, you may be dealing with various uncertainties at this moment. If so, please know that in every dog attack case, there are several reasons why it is wise to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Consider contacting the dog attack lawyers at Phillips Law Group at (602) 222-2222. We will review your case and determine your options. Your initial consultation is free.
The Most Common Dog Attack Injuries
When a dog attacks, the injuries to the victim can range from minor to severe. According to one source, each day, more than 900 dog bite victims require emergency medical treatment.
Particularly vulnerable to dog attacks are children, since young ones are naturally drawn to dogs, yet they are inexperienced regarding the exercise of caution. Of course, adults can suffer injuries in dog attacks as well.
Common injuries from dog attacks include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Lacerations and scarring: Victims can suffer permanent scarring from the deep cuts that result from a dog’s bite. Such scarring may not only require reconstructive surgery but can also leave the victim disfigured. Additionally, when the skin is broken, there is a risk of infection from diseases such as rabies or tetanus.
- Fractured bones: A dog attack can leave a victim with broken ribs, arms, and more due to its powerful bite force. And bones could be broken in an attack even without a bite. If a victim is knocked down by an attacking dog, for example, he or she may suffer a fracture of the skull or hip. A bone break is not only painful but can also take a long time to heal.
- Nerve damage: When a dog bites, its sharp, long teeth can penetrate nerves in a victim’s arms, legs, hands, torso, or face. Types of nerve damage that can result from a dog attack include neurapraxia, axonotmesis, and neurotmesis – with the latter being the most severe. Nerve damage can sometimes leave a victim suffering paralysis.
- Psychological injuries: Apart from the physical injuries a victim may suffer in a dog attack, psychological or emotional injuries quite often result. Common psychological injuries can include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), nightmares, anxiety, and depression. In order to return to a normal life, professional therapy is often needed.
This list is by no means comprehensive. Several other types of injuries can result from dog attacks, such as a loss of limbs or even wrongful death. If you wish to receive full compensation for damages suffered, a knowledgeable dog attack lawyer’s assistance is vital.
How the Assistance of a Lawyer Can Help Your Claim
If you have suffered injuries from a dog attack, pursuing fair compensation may not be as straightforward as it might seem. During the process, you may encounter unexpected difficulties. Having an experienced lawyer in your corner will greatly help, as he or she will know how to deal with the complexities of the process.
The following list highlights some of the challenges that may arise during the process of pursuing compensation.
Defenses against your claim
The dog’s owner may retain an attorney who raises certain objections to your claim. One of these objections may be that you provoked the dog so it was compelled to attack (§11-1027). Another may be that you had no legal right to be on the premises (§11-1026) and therefore are not entitled to compensation.
An experienced dog attack lawyer would be able to see through these and other defense tactics that may be used against your claim. The point is to investigate and gather facts to support your case and pursue fair compensation.
Insurance adjusters are notorious for resisting paying fair compensation for damages suffered by victims. They are skillful in using tactics in an effort to get a victim to quickly settle the claim for a lower amount or to admit a measure of guilt, thus minimizing the amount owed.
Never speak with an insurance company before speaking with a lawyer. If you must speak with insurance companies, never admit fault and never discuss your injuries or how you feel. A personal injury lawyer will know how to deal with insurance adjusters on your behalf and can negotiate a fair settlement to resolve your dog attack claim.
Arizona is one of several states that have adopted the law of “comparative negligence.” Under this law, there’s a possibility that the owner of the dog may be found only partially liable if he or she claims that you were partially at fault for the attack.
If the dog’s owner claims comparative negligence as a defense, proving that you were an innocent victim may be complicated. So don’t work on your own. An experienced dog attack lawyer will know how to research and present evidence to support your claim.
These few examples show why it may be needlessly complicated to pursue compensation on your own in the aftermath of a dog attack. The lawyers at Phillips Law Group, though, are familiar with the arguments that an opposing attorney may make, and we know how to counter them. Also, if the dog owner is a relative or neighbor, having one of our lawyers by your side will make it easier to pursue compensation while leaving the relationship intact.
Types of Compensation You May Be Entitled to Receive
It only makes sense for dog attack victims to be compensated for damages by the responsible party or his or her insurance. Compensation for loss and damages may include:
- Present and long-term medical expenses
- Present and long-term lost wages
- Household renovation for disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Compensation for wrongful death
Our Lawyers Stand Ready to Assist You With Your Claim
In the aftermath of a dog attack, it is true that the victim can try to pursue compensation for damages suffered on his or her own. However, there are so many advantages to having the assistance of an experienced dog attack lawyer.
An experienced lawyer will not only be familiar with the laws governing the case but also know how to gather evidence, calculate damages and losses, and negotiate a fair settlement on behalf of the victim.
If you have been the victim of a dog attack, don’t go it alone! Contact the lawyers at Phillips Law Group today at (602) 222-2222. Our attorneys have helped more than 155,000 clients in over 25 years. Your claim will be in good hands with us!
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