A successful personal injury case depends on proving liability, or legal responsibility for the accident and resulting injuries. Proving that another party was to blame for an accident may seem straightforward, but many unrepresented victims find it difficult to achieve alone. For help establishing liability in your Lafayette dog bite case, reach out to an experienced animal attack attorney.
To establish liability, a personal injury lawyer often first examines the incident report, assuming police documented the bite. Attorneys also look at where the location of the accident and what was happening at the time of the attack. For example, a dog bite lawyer may want to know whether the dog was loose, in its own yard, or in a public space when the attack occurred. Additionally, whether the plaintiff was in the dog’s space or provoking the animal could make a difference in the outcome of a case.
An experienced dog bite attorney may also interview the victim of the attack, the dog owner, and any witnesses who may have been present. Afterward, they may speak to insurance adjusters to identify potential sources of compensation.
Notably, the relationship of the injured person with the owner of the dog is not a factor in the liability for a dog bite. Whether the victim was attacked by a familiar dog or a stranger, they could be eligible for compensation.
Louisiana is a comparative negligence state, so in Lafayette, it is possible that assignment of fault could be divided among two, three, or more parties. In the case of a dog attack, the dog could be partially at fault and the injured party may share some of the blame for entering an enclosed area or provoking the animal. In this case, a jury would have to apportion a percentage of fault to each party involved. The victim may still be able to recover compensation, but their total award would be reduced.
Like all personal injury cases, the burden of proof in a dog bite case lies with the plaintiff. The victim must prove the facts surrounding the case and demonstrate the damages they incurred. Doing so may require an investigation into the attack. For example, if the dog was loose in a public space, it may take time to identify the animal and its owner.
In addition to eye-witness accounts, other evidence that could be valuable in establishing liability would be video or audio recordings of the incident. If the attack happened in a public space, security cameras for local businesses may have captured the incident. Additionally, a lawyer may investigate the dog’s prior history of bites or other behavioral issues.
Establishing liability in a dog bite case is a job for a skilled Lafayette lawyer. An attorney could conduct an independent investigation into the events, carefully analyze all available evidence, and present a persuasive claim for damages. Call today to schedule a consultation and begin working toward full and fair compensation.