When a dog attacks, it can leave both physical and psychological scars. Dog bites can potentially carry serious health risks beyond the damage done by the teeth puncturing your skin. The medical treatment for a severe dog bite can be costly, and without recovering compensation from the liable party, a dog bite can significantly impact your finances.
At Pacific West Injury Law, we understand the challenges faced by dog bite victims. Our dedicated team of dog bite attorneys in Sunrise Manor has the experience needed to help you recover fair compensation after an attack. If you were bitten by a dog, we can discuss the details of your case during a free consultation.
Determining Liability After a Dog Bite Injury
Before you can begin to pursue compensation for a dog bite injury, you must first establish who is liable for your damages. In most cases, this will be the dog owner. However, other parties like a dog walker could also be held responsible. Additionally, if the dog is a stray, the city or municipality may be liable if they were informed about the loose dog and did not take action.
In many cases, recovering compensation can be tricky. Under Nevada’s “one-bite rule,” the owner is not liable for the damages of a dog bite if the dog has no previous bite history.
Steps in a Dog Bite Lawsuit
When you hire a dog bite lawyer in Sunrise Manor, they will immediately begin investigating the attack. Their aim will be both to establish liability and to collect evidence to prove negligence to support your claim.
Once this is done, your attorney will calculate your damages to establish the value of your injury claim. They will then draw up all the necessary paperwork and file your lawsuit with the court.
Once your lawsuit has been filed and the appropriate parties have been notified, the pretrial process will begin. Some of the steps in the pretrial process include:
Discovery is the process of the two parties exchanging all the evidence they have gathered about the case. This stage of the pretrial process is essential to ensuring a fair trial as it allows both parties to review all the evidence that may be brought up in court and prepare their cases accordingly.
Depositions occur at the end of the discovery stage. Depositions are recorded testimonies given by witnesses or parties involved in the case. Depositions are taken outside of the courtroom and recorded by a court stenographer. During a deposition, both parties will have the opportunity to ask questions of the deponent, and that testimony can be used at trial.
Mediation is the last stage of the pretrial process. During mediation, the two parties will come together at a neutral location and attempt to settle their case with the help of an independent third party.
Mediation is not the first time your attorney will attempt to negotiate a settlement deal. From the time you hire an attorney, they will be in contact with opposing counsel, attempting to reach an agreement. If a deal is struck, your case will end, and you will recover the agreed-upon compensation.
However, if a deal can not be reached by the end of mediation, your case will proceed to court, where your attorney will fight to get you a favorable outcome.
Dog Bite Attorneys Collect a Results-Based Fee
When people are considering hiring an attorney, the thing that most often holds them back is the cost. People often fear that they will not be able to afford the fees that an attorney will charge. While this is a legitimate concern with many types of lawyers who charge high hourly rates, it should never stop you from hiring a dog bite lawyer.
Dog bite injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. That means that if you hire one of these lawyers, they will only collect a single fee for their services, and it will be based entirely on the compensation they recover on your behalf.
When you receive a settlement or court-ordered payout from the liable party, your attorney will collect their payment as a fixed percentage of this compensation. If they fail to get you paid, your lawyer works for free.
File Your Dog Bite Lawsuit Before Time Runs Out
The statute of limitations for filing a dog bite lawsuit in Nevada is two years, per NRS § 11.190. If you fail to file your lawsuit within this window, you may lose your right to recover compensation. However, you must realize that many exceptions apply to this rule.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could find that you are still able to file a lawsuit even after the two years have passed. Alternatively, it could turn out that you only have months rather than years to file. The best way to ensure that your lawsuit meets all deadlines is to hire a Sunrise Manor dog bite lawyer shortly after your attack.
Recoverable Damages After a Dog Bite
After a dog attack, there are several types of damages you will likely be eligible to recover in a dog bite accident lawsuit. These recoverable damages can be divided into three main categories.
All the losses you suffer due to your dog bite that harm your financial standing are considered economic damages. Common economic damages include:
- Lost income
- Diminished earning ability
- Medical expenses
- Future medical costs
- Property damage
- Modifications made to your home or vehicle to accommodate a disability
Every other loss you suffer as a result of your dog bite is considered to be a form of non-economic damage. Common non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and other disfigurements
- Mental anguish
- Permanent disability
- Decreased quality of life
- Loss of consortium
Punitive damages are only awarded in rare cases concerning dog bite injuries. Punitive damages are not awarded to replace any losses suffered by the dog bite victim. Instead, these damages are assessed as a means of punishing the at-fault party for their actions.
Punitive damages are only awarded if the liable party acted in a criminally negligent manner or if the person responsible for the dog at the time of the attack ordered it to attack.
Speak With a Dog Bite Lawyer in Sunrise Manor Today
At Pacific West Injury Law, we will work diligently to ensure you recover the compensation you need after a dog bite injury. Our team of experienced dog bite lawyers in Sunrise Manor has a proven track record of helping dog bite victims recover favorable settlements. Contact us today by phone or through our online contact form to schedule a free case review.