hey say dogs are man’s best friend, but every once in a while, even the best of friends have spats. In the case of a dog, this can lead to serious injuries if the owner isn’t living up to his/her responsibilities.
But a dog bite lawsuit can become as complex as any other, so there are a few factors you need to keep in mind before filing a dog bite lawsuit.
1 – There Are Exceptions to the Dog Owner’s Liability
Some victims think liability in a dog bite injury is straightforward, and that the dog’s owner is always at fault, but it isn’t that simple.
In Michigan, for example, the owner might not be held liable if the victim provoked the dog attack. The dog owner is also free of liability if the victim was trespassing on their property or was intending to commit a crime. It’s important to think about whether these exceptions apply to your situation.
2 – Witnesses Matter
Considering the exceptions of Michigan dog bite law noted above, the details are important in a dog bite case. These situations are also hard to investigate after the fact, so witnesses are often the only evidence you have to indicate the location of the attack, whether you provoked it, whether the dog was on a leash, any admissions the owner made, and other facts.
3 – You Need to Seek Medical Attention Right Away
As with any injury case, you need to seek medical attention for a dog bite right away. If you wait, the owner can cast doubt on whether his/her dog was actually at fault for your injury.
4 – You May Have a Worker’s Compensation Case Instead
Let’s say you’re a cable TV installer and you were bitten by a customer’s dog while trying to install their cable.
There are many jobs that can put employees at risk for a dog bite, and in these situations, your case may be classified as a worker’s compensation case instead of a dog bite case. It all depends on the details, so our lawyers can guide you in the right direction.
5 – Keep All Documentation
It’s obvious that all the medical records from your injury are vital, but you should keep any other documentation that’s remotely related, too. You never know what might become relevant.
For example, keep any documentation that shows why you were in the location where you were bitten. If you had to take a taxi or a rideshare service to the hospital or doctor’s office, keep that receipt as well. Take photos of the dog bite marks for evidence as well.
6 – Not All Lawyers Are Experienced in Dog Bite Lawsuits
Dog bite lawsuits are quite common, but that doesn’t mean all lawyers can handle them successfully. As with any type of law, there are nuances and intricacies your lawyer needs to know to argue your case successfully.
Before you sign on with a lawyer, ask how much experience they have with dog bite lawsuits specifically.
How to File Your Dog Bite Lawsuit
Dog bite lawsuits aren’t as straightforward as they may seem, so the details above are vital for proving your case. The more information and documentation you have, the better your chances for a favorable outcome.
If you’re ready to file your suit, contact our dog bite law experts for a consultation.