A dog bite can affect your life in various ways. For example, the injury can prevent you from working, affect your interactions with family members, and trigger health complications, such as nerve damage. Adequate monetary compensation by the defendant may help you handle some of the injury's effects. Below are some things you must do to get compensation.
Sue the Right Party
Your case won't go far if you file a claim against the wrong party. Potential dog bite defendants include:
- Dog owners
- Parents of dog owners
- Premises owners or occupiers
- Dog sitters
The location of the injury, the dog owner's age, and the cause of the attack all determine the attack's liability. For example, you might not get compensation if you sue a minor for your dog bite injuries. Depending on factors, such as the minor's age, the minor's parents might be liable for your damages.
Prove the Defendant's Liability
The next step is to prove why the person should pay for your damages. For example, you don't deserve compensation from a dog owner just because their dog attacked you. Depending on the circumstances of the attack, you might have to prove that:
- The defendant was negligent; for example, if they let the dog roam freely in the street
- The case falls under strict liability rules since you did not provoke the dog or trespass on the owner's property
- The one-bite rule applies since the dog has attacked people in the past
In short, you need a legal basis that makes the defendant liable for your damages.
Prove Your Damages and Their Monetary Values
You must also prove the damages for which you want compensation. For example, you cannot just claim that the injury caused you to miss work for several weeks. You must prove the missed workdays via acceptable evidence, such as hospitalization records, eyewitness testimonies, and employer letters.
In addition, you must prove the value of the damages. Say you want $100,000 for your injuries. You must account for every dollar and show how you arrived at such a figure. Medical bills, paystubs, and payment for replacement services (such as domestic helper wages) can help you prove your damage's worth.
Hopefully, you will get the compensation you deserve for your injury. The strength of your evidence determines whether your case succeeds and how much compensation you get. Consult a personal injury attorney to help you identify, gather, and use different forms of evidence for your case.