Lawyers for Dog Bites: How to Know if You Should Hire One
With around 4 million people experiencing dog bites each year, this is not a small problem. You may be wondering if you should look into lawyers for dog bites or if you should just “let it go.”
The thing to think about is that if you just “let it go,” who could be hurt by this dog again? Left unchecked, this dog could be allowed to continue hurting people because of the negligence of its owner.
Continue reading this article to learn whether you should hire a dog bite lawyer or not.
Check to Make Sure You’re Within the Statute of Limitations
Before you hire an attorney, you should check to make sure you aren’t over the statute of limitations. You’ll need to check your specific state to find out the laws that govern your case. There are some instances when the time may pause and you’ll technically be able to make a claim longer than the stated time in the statute of limitations.
Check If the Owner is Liable
Different states have different laws for dog owner liability. Some state’s laws only state that the owner is liable when the dog bites someone. In other cases, the owners are liable even if the dog causes an enjoy from knocking someone over or something similar.
Feeling Confused & Overwhelmed?
If you’re feeling confused and overwhelmed, it might be a good time to speak with an attorney that can help you with your dog bite case. Being attacked by an animal is a traumatic experience and you might be due compensation.
If you aren’t aware of the state laws that are in place to protect you, you might not know how to best plead your case. When you work with a dog bite attorney that practices in your local area, they know the laws and they know how to bring the case before the court properly. In some instances, you may not even need to take the case to court because people will settle outside of court.
How to Choose a Good Dog Bite Lawyer
Once you know you need legal help and want to hire a lawyer, you shouldn’t put your case in the hands of just anyone. Making sure you work with someone that can help you get the compensation due to you is key vs. just trying to find an attorney that is the least expensive.
Here are some ways to make sure you find a lawyer that can help you with your case.
1. Experience With Dog Bite Cases in Your Locale
Working with an attorney that has experience negotiating and arguing cases in your locale is an important part of getting the compensation due to you. A general practice attorney may not have much more experience or knowledge on dog bite law than you, so make sure to do your homework.
2. Positive Ratings Online
Before scheduling a meeting with a lawyer, look at their ratings online. While the information on their site might be helpful, you want to see what independent ratings people are giving them. Look at their Google My Business page, Yelp, and other sites to see what people are saying.
You can also find forums online that are meant to specifically help people searching for reviews on attorneys. You can post your questions there and see if anyone knows about the attorney you’re considering.
3. Ability to Answer Questions
If you do find someone that is a good candidate to help you with your case, bring a list of questions. If they aren’t able to help you with the questions, it’s unlikely they are the right lawyer for you.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t ask attorneys to provide you their services for free. Keep your questions to questions about their qualifications and how they see themselves being able to help you with your case.
Making sure you find an attorney that is available to work your case is a must. If you notice that the attorney isn’t able to return your calls in a timely manner, they likely don’t have time to work on your case.
You don’t want to draw your case out any longer than you have to. Having an attorney that is too busy to negotiate or argue your case properly could hurt your chances of getting a fair settlement from your personal injury.
Check to see if the attorney is going to be the one that is working your case or if they are going to hand your case off to a junior attorney. They may also have a paralegal do most of the work.
While it’s not a bad thing if these people handle your case, you should understand how they are going to do it. If you don’t feel comfortable with the way they’re dealing with things, find another attorney to work with.
5. Lawyers for Dog Bites Affordability
While you don’t want to choose an attorney purely off of price, you do want to find someone that is within your budget. You may be able to find an attorney that has all of the qualifications you need that offers a payment plan. Don’t be afraid to ask how they can work with you if you’re tight on funds.
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