Did your child visit a neighbor's home and was injured by their dog? You may be able to sue your neighbor and get compensated if your child was not at fault. Find out what a personal injury lawyer can do to assist you with the incident and how much you will have to spend to hire one.
How can a lawyer assist after an attack?
A lawyer can help you with your case after you answer a few questions about what transpired on the day of the incident. You may be asked if your child was taunting the dog in any way, such as by handling it roughly or making animal noises to get a reaction. Your lawyer must ask you those questions to make sure your child did not play a role in angering the dog, which resulted in him or her getting injured.
Your lawyer will also investigate the nature of the type of dog your neighbor owns. Some dogs are known to be vicious, so it is the owner's responsibility to keep the dog locked up or on a leash when visitors are around for safety. Before moving forward with the lawsuit, your lawyer will provide services such as:
- Getting a copy of your child's medical record
- Finding out if the dog has attacked other people
- Discovering the length of time your child will need treatment
It is possible that your case can be settled out of court so you can get compensated faster. If your neighbor takes responsibility for the actions of the dog, your lawyer can settle the dispute through mediation. Going through mediation will make everything agreed upon legally binding in court because documents will be signed. However, if your child will need long-term treatment and your neighbor does not agree to cover the expenses, a lawsuit will be necessary.
How much does it cost to hire a lawyer?
If mediation is all that is needed to settle the dispute, you can expect to pay an hourly rate that is at the discretion of the specific lawyer hired. However, lawsuits are commonly based on paying a contingency fee that will be an average of up to 40% of what is won. There are no upfront fees necessary when a contingency fee is paid.
Make sure you are not stuck with big medical bills from your child's injury that was the fault of the neighbor's dog. Research your options by contacting local law firms such as Otorowski Johnston Morrow & Golden P.L.L.C.