You Must Learn and Prove the Dog’s Prior Conduct
In other words, you will need to prove what the dog owner knew or what they should have known. It is not always easy to go back in time and prove something about a dog you never encountered before it attacked you. A dog bite attorney knows how to gather the relevant information on the dog that you can use to prove liability.
Our lawyers will investigate your incident and the particular dog involved. It will be challenging to investigate this on your own because you may not know what you need to do and how to do it. The owner’s “beware of the dog” sign does not automatically mean they knew the dog was dangerous.
If you are hoping to use a violation of leash laws as evidence of negligence, everything depends on precisely what law the owner violated. In New York, a violation of state law will be considered negligence per se. Even so, in order to recover for pain and suffering damages, a showing of prior vicious propensity is required.
Other Damages in a Dog Bite Case
Once you can prove that the dog had vicious propensities, it opens up additional possibilities for financial compensation. Then, you can get damages that go beyond medical costs.
Dog bite attacks have a number of consequences beyond the immediate medical danger and the necessary treatment. Since dog attacks occur most often to children, there is a significant risk of emotional trauma that can haunt the child for many years to come.
In addition, the law may entitle you to the following elements of damages:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Scarring and permanent disfigurement
- Lost wages if you are unable to work
Focus on Your Own Damages as Opposed to an Average Settlement
State Farm releases its average settlement amounts for dog bite cases annually. While this figure may be moderately helpful for informational purposes, it should not guide your own case or your legal decisions. You should not feel happy about an average amount in a settlement because others received it. Instead, you should fight for every dollar that you deserve. If you are filing a claim or lawsuit on behalf of an injured child, they will need that money to treat them in the future.
Your damages depend on your own specific and unique situation. There is no such thing as an average dog bite injury as far as you are concerned.
Insurance Companies Try to Complicate Matters
You do not want to be in a position where your settlement money goes to pay your medical bills, and you have nothing left. There is a reason why you can receive compensation for pain and suffering, and that is because you continue to experience damages in both the present and the future. If you settle your claim for too little, you will not receive compensation for your challenging experience.
Homeowners’ insurance companies treat dog bites the same way:
- If they feel they have any type of justification, they will try to deny your claim.
- Even if the insurance company admits liability, they will try to underpay your claim and make you negotiate for every dollar that you get.
Dealing with an insurance company is a time-honored process, and everyone knows what they are on for when they file a claim.
Why Do You Need a Dog Bite Attorney?
An experienced and knowledgeable attorney knows how and when to push back against insurance companies to maximize your compensation. If the insurance company is not reasonable, your lawyer can take your case to court. Juries may show sympathy to seriously injured victims, especially children.
Since you can lose evidence in a hurry and also be vulnerable to an unscrupulous insurance company, you should not waste any time in getting legal help. If you try to begin the legal process months after the attack occurs, it can be much more challenging.
Contact a Long Island Dog Bite Attorney Today
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury due to an attack by a dog, the personal injury attorneys at Rosenberg & Gluck can help. We work hard to get results for our clients, and we do not simply accept the standard runaround from insurance companies.
Hiring an experienced attorney can help increase the amount of your financial recovery. Right now, call us for your free initial consultation. You can message us online or call us at (631) 451-7900 to discuss your case. You owe us nothing unless we recover compensation for you.