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What to Expect From a Dog Bite Case in Lafayette

Dog bite cases are often misunderstood by many people in Lafayette. One of the most common misconceptions is that a victim has no recourse and no legal means to seek compensation for their injuries. In fact, dog bite victims can often seek fair payment for their losses from the responsible party, just like car accident or slip and fall victims.

If you were attacked by a dog, reach out to an experienced lawyer today. A knowledgeable Lafayette attorney could help you understand what to expect at every step of your dog bite case.

First Steps in a Lafayette Dog Bite Case

The first step in a Lafayette dog bite case is for the victim’s personal injury attorney to identify confirm the ownership of the dog. In many cases, the victim knows the owner and this step is simple. However, ownership of the animal is not always clear. In some cases, attorneys must investigate to determine who was responsible for the dog and legally liable for its actions.

Next, the dog bite lawyer would confirm that there is insurance coverage available. Typically, homeowner’s insurance would be responsible for paying a dog bite claim, but there may be other potential sources of compensation in some situations. Identifying the correct insurance company is critical to the success of a dog bite case.

A personal injury attorney would also make sure the victim receives adequate medical treatment and documentation of all injuries. Another important consideration is whether there is long-term damage. If so, work on the case would continue until the victim was released from treatment. Once the victim’s long-term state is assessed, a lawyer could begin working towards a settlement.

Settling Versus Going to Trial

Dog bite claims are often settled out of court when the defendant’s insurance company makes a fair offer. An insurance company’s initial settlement offer may be too low, in which case the victim’s attorneys must make counteroffers in order to arrive at a fair value. If a reasonable settlement is available, it is often in a victim’s best interest to accept it. Settling a case is often quicker and less expensive than going to trial, and it eliminates uncertainty.

In some cases, however, a dog bite case must proceed to court. This can occur when the insurance company does not offer a reasonable settlement, there are issues determining liability, or there is a dispute over damages. A dog bite attorney can provide advice, but the decision is ultimately up to the victim.

What Happens When There are Multiple Defendants?

When there are several defendants in a dog-bite case, it often involves multiple people, multiple dogs, or a combination. Situations like this are more complicated, and they raise a lot of potential legal issues. For example, insurance companies may decide to wrap everything up into a single claim or handle the case as several separate claims. There may also be several different insurance companies involved. Depending on how the insurance policies are written, cases with multiple defendants could require litigation.

Reach Out to a Lafayette Dog Bite Attorney Today

If you were attacked by a dog, you may a legal right to pursue compensation from the at-fault party. However, personal injury claims can be complex, and victims are often more successful when they work with experienced attorneys. A skilled Lafayette lawyer could help you understand what to expect throughout your dog bite case and fight for fair compensation. To see if you have a case, call today and schedule a consultation.