If you’ve been bitten by a dog, the first thing you should do is thoroughly document the incident. Take photos of any visible injuries from multiple angles. Get contact information for any witnesses who saw the attack happen. If it occurred on someone else’s property, make note of the location. All of these details will be crucial for building your case. An attorney will help gather additional evidence like medical records, veterinary records of the dog, and records of the dog owner like homeowner’s insurance policies. The more documentation there is the better when it comes to proving liability in a dog bite claim.

Determine liability

To recover damages, your Utah Dog Bite Lawyer will need to establish liability for who is at fault for the incident. Different rules apply depending on where the dog bite took place. For example, if you were bitten by a neighbor’s dog in your backyard, your neighbor would likely be liable under the “one bite rule.” This rule essentially says that a dog owner is responsible for the first time their dog bites or attacks someone. If you were bitten by a friend’s dog while visiting their home, the “premises liability” laws would come into play. The dog owner could be liable if they failed to restrain and control the dog or warn you about possible danger. There may also be shared liability if you antagonized the dog and contributed to the bite in some way. An attorney will determine which liability laws apply and build a case proving negligence on the dog owner’s part.

Calculate damages

Recovering after a dog bite has costs medical bills, lost wages from missed work, pain and suffering, and potentially long-term disability. Your dog bite lawyer will calculate both the economic and non-economic damages you incurred in the incident.

  • Doctor and hospital bills from immediate treatment and any necessary surgery or specialist care
  • Costs of prescriptions, physical therapy, and rehabilitation 
  • Expenses for hired help if unable to complete household tasks like cleaning or childcare

Non-economic damages cover losses that don’t have a clear dollar amount, such as:

  • Pain and suffering from the bite and any lasting injuries or trauma
  • Emotional distress and diminished quality of life after an attack
  • Disfigurement from bite-related scarring

Your lawyer will calculate these damages and demand compensation either from the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance or through personal assets and income if uninsured. They’ll negotiate the strongest settlement possible or take the case to court if needed.

Why hire a dog bite lawyer?

Hiring an attorney experienced in dog bite law is highly recommended if you want to maximize your chances of recovering full damages. An attorney will protect your rights, build a strong claim, and advocate aggressively on your behalf. Dog bite cases fall under personal injury law, which is complex for non-lawyers to navigate. Specific state laws, legal deadlines, what evidence to present, and how to determine appropriate damages all require legal expertise. 

Personal injury lawyers also understand how to negotiate fair settlements and have the resources to go to trial if needed. Don’t leave compensation for your injuries from a dog attack up to chance. Consult a hiring a dog bite lawyer as soon as possible after you’ve been bitten to start building your case. With legal guidance, you recover the maximum damages available to pay for your medical bills, lost income, and other costs stemming from the incident. The right attorney gets results.