One of the most terrifying things that can happen when you own a dog is discovering that your dog has bitten someone, due to the chances of you being sued and the possibility of having your beloved dog put to sleep for biting someone. However, a personal injury attorney can help protect both you and your dog if your dog has bitten someone. Listed below are three ways that a personal injury attorney can help after a dog bite.
Determine If Trespassing Was Involved
One of the first things that a personal injury attorney will do when building a defense in a dog bite case is to determine if the person who was bitten was trespassing on your property. This is very important, as many areas will not hold you or your dog liable for a dog bite that occurred while someone was trespassing. However, there are some limitations to this defense, such as the fact that people coming to your front door are not considered to be trespassing, as there is an implied invitation for people to approach a front door if there are no signs warning people away.
Determine If The Bitten Person Was Careless
Another way that a personal injury attorney can assist is by determining if the person who was bitten was being careless when it occurred. For example, if you have a dog on a leash in your yard with a warning sign telling people to stay away from the dog, or if the dog is growling, and then someone approaches the dog and is bitten, then you may not be liable for the bite.
In that situation, it was the bitten person's fault for ignoring the warning signs or the growling and choosing to approach the leashed dog anyway. This can also apply if you are out taking your dog for a walk and someone proceeds to approach the dog despite you warning the person off repeatedly.
Determine The Extent Of Your Fault
Finally, a personal injury attorney can help mitigate the amount that you will have to pay after your dog bit someone by determining the extent of your fault in the situation. This is important, as the attorney can attempt to only have you pay for a portion of the injuries to the person who was bitten.
An example of this would be taking your dog for a walk and neglecting to warn people that your dog could bite. In that situation, you and the person who approached your dog without an invitation could both be equally at fault, which could result in a reduction in the amount of money that is awarded to the bitten person. You would be at fault for not warning the bitten person that your dog might bite, and the bitten person would be at fault for approaching the dog carelessly.
Contact a personal injury attorney today to discuss the merits of your case if you are being sued because your dog has bitten someone. A personal injury attorney can help you by determining if trespassing was involved, if the bitten person was careless or negligent, and the extent of your fault in the situation.