You need legal representation after a personal injury. To receive financial compensation, you must go through a legal process involving filing an insurance claim or lawsuit.
You will deal with the owner’s insurance company in dog bite cases. However, the system does not favor injured claimants getting the money you deserve without struggle. The personal injury system makes you work hard for every dollar you get. Contact our dog bite injury lawyer for legal guidance.
Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bite injuries can vary in severity, but victims may experience:
- Puncture wounds
- Soft tissue damage
- Nerve damage
- Facial injuries
Always seek immediate medical attention for any dog bite to properly assess and treat the injury. Additionally, a dog bite attorney can help victims understand their legal rights, pursue compensation for their injuries, and hold responsible parties accountable for the incident.
New York’s Strange Hybrid Dog Bite Laws
New York does not use traditional one-bite rules or strict liability laws like other states. The mere fact that a dog bite or attack occurred is not enough to guarantee you financial compensation. You will first need to prove that the dog had dangerous tendencies before the dog’s owner will be strictly liable for your injuries.
You will have to learn something about the particular dog. New York law partially uses the “one free bite” rule that several states follow. You must prove that the dog had either bitten someone or had acted aggressively before and the owner had knowledge of this behavior. Once you show that, you can hold the owner liable for your damages.
You Should Hire a Lawyer in a Dog Bite Case
You are always better off when you hire a lawyer to represent you when a dog has injured you. You do not want to become involved with the details of the legal process, nor should you. A lawyer deals with insurance companies all the time, and they know all the tricks insurance companies use to cost you money.
You will not serve yourself well if you try to handle everything alone. You may lose a winnable case.
You Do Not Have to Stress About Paying a Lawyer Upfront
Money can be a worry for you when you are dealing with a personal injury. Your cash flow may also not support paying a lawyer upfront.
You do not need to give your lawyer money at the outset of your case. Dog bite lawyers will offer free claim evaluations and charge a contingency fee.
You Have No Risk When You Hire a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer
The insurance company can take a hard line and deny your claim because they believe you did not prove your claim.
You do not need to worry about paying a dog bite lawyer. A dog bite lawyer will work on the contingency fee system. Your lawyer receives payment for a favorable result.
After your initial consultation with your dog bite lawyer, you will decide whether to hire them for your case. Before they can become your lawyer, you must sign a representation agreement with them.
How Much Your Lawyer Gets Is Determined Ahead of Time
One condition of the contract is how and when you will pay your dog bite attorney. The agreement will specifically state that you only need to pay your dog bite lawsuit attorney if you win your case. This is called a contingency agreement. The payment to your lawyer is contingent on your winning the lawsuit. For your purposes, winning means receiving either a settlement check or an award from a jury if your case goes to trial.
Lawyers Must Charge Reasonable Contingency Fees in a Dog Bite Cases
Lawyers cannot charge you anything that they want in a contingency agreement. Each attorney must register with their state bar. As a condition for a license, each lawyer must follow rules of professional responsibility. These rules impose numerous obligations on the lawyer that govern practically every area of their practice.
One rule that lawyers must follow relates to fees. Rule 1.5 of the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct states:
“A lawyer shall not make an agreement for, charge, or collect an unreasonable fee or an unreasonable amount for expenses.”
Attorneys must follow these rules, or they can face serious consequences. They can even lose their right to practice law. According to the ABA, reasonable depends on the circumstances and state laws.
Your Lawyer Receives Payment When You Do
When you receive a settlement check or a jury award, the amount goes into your lawyer’s escrow account. Certain parties, including your lawyer and health insurance company, receive payment out of these proceeds before you receive your check. The lawyer’s percentage and reasonable expenses will come from the amount. After everyone gets what they should receive, you can receive the remaining funds.
Unlike many other areas of the law, a dog bite lawyer will not ask you to pay them a retainer. You do not need to pay them upfront when they accept your case. You will pay your lawyer nothing before your case concludes.
Your Lawyer Takes on Risk Too
Your lawyer can go a long time without payment for their services. It is the chance they take when they decide to become a personal injury lawyer and agree to accept your case.
You will not need to pay your attorney for their time or effort if you do not win your case. They take on risk when they accept your case. They know well that they can come away with nothing if you do not receive money. Therefore, they will ask you many questions during the initial consultation to understand the strength of your case. If they do not believe that you have a chance of winning, they will not represent you. A lawyer need not accept your case.
All Fees Must Be in the Representation Agreement
The representation agreement can state that you must pay other fees, regardless of whether you win your case. For example, the lawyer may expect you to expect court fees if your case goes to court. Again, you will only have to pay reasonable fees that the representation agreement spells out.
The lawyer receives the same amount, no matter when you hired them for your case. Thus, hire them for your case as soon as possible. You will get the most out of your lawyer when you contact them right after your injury. As you see, there is no cost or risk to you. An attorney will offer you a free consultation in which they will learn more about your case and outline the potential pathways to financial compensation. Afterward, you will decide whether to hire them.
As you can see, you have every reason to hire a lawyer in your dog bite injury case. People who hire lawyers in personal injury cases end up with more money than those who try to deal with the insurance company on their own even after they pay their contingency fee to a lawyer.
Others may not even know they can negotiate with the insurance company for more money. Even if they knew, they need the skill of an attorney to get the insurance company to raise their settlement offer. The threat of a lawsuit holds the insurance company accountable in any case. If you threaten to sue them and do not have a lawyer, they will not take you seriously.
Consult a Dog Bite Attorney
If a dog bit you or someone you know, call a dog bite attorney right away. You will face strict deadlines for filing a dog bite claim, so protect your rights with prompt action.
An attorney can gather evidence, including medical records, photographs, and witness statements, to strengthen your case. They can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf or take your case to court, if needed, to secure fair compensation.
Calling a personal injury attorney in Long Island promptly will enable them to evaluate your case, provide guidance, and begin the legal process, ultimately helping you seek justice and recover the compensation you deserve.