An animal attack of any kind is obviously a horrible experience for the victim. Not only are they facing extreme pain, they’re also facing medical bills that continue to mount. They’re also very likely losing money because they can’t work. Hiring a skilled, experienced attorney will be their best chance of obtaining the money they deserve.
If you or someone you loved has suffered severe injuries in an animal attack caused by the owner’s negligence, Sand Law will be here for you. We have a great deal of experience in this area of the law, and a long track record of success. Please give us a call at 651-291-7263 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation as soon as possible.
Just in case you’re still on the fence regarding whether or not to get legal help, these are just five of the many reasons why you should hire an attorney immediately.
1. For Their Knowledge of Animal Attack Laws
Animal attack attorneys have a deep understanding of Minnesota law. For example, they know the law views animal attacks differently from other types of personal injury cases, such as slip and fall accidents and car wrecks. In most cases, an injury victim will have to prove that someone else’s negligence led to the accident. That doesn’t apply to animal attacks.
According to Minnesota Statute 347.22, an animal attack victim can hold the owner liable if the victim was acting in a peaceful manner, was lawfully in the place where the attack occurred, and did nothing to provoke the animal. If these stipulations are found to be true, then the owner will face liability even if they weren’t aware the animal would attack.
A skilled attorney will also know there are only two defenses an animal owner can claim in an animal attack case. These are trespassing and provocation. If the victim was unlawfully on someone else’s property when the attack occurred, or the victim provoked the animal, then the victim may be liable for the injuries they suffer. That attorney will work to gather the evidence needed to prove the victim was in no way at fault.
2. They Can Negotiate on Your Behalf
The medical bills and lost wages mentioned above are examples of damages, or monetary losses. Your attorney will work to help you recover those damages.
Animal attacks can lead to severe injuries that can, in some instances, result in permanent debilitation. But no matter how badly you’ve been hurt, the insurance company that covers the owner of the animal won’t offer to pay you fair compensation just because it feels sorry for you. That company is actually going to do everything it can to deny you compensation entirely, or pay as little as possible.
This is where having strong legal representation will be a must. An experienced attorney will know how much your claim will be worth. This includes not only tangible, economic damages (doctor’s visits, hospital stays, future medical expenses, present and future lost wages, etc.) but also intangible, non-economic damages. These include pain and suffering, emotional trauma and others.
Armed with this knowledge, your attorney will work with the insurance company to obtain a fair settlement amount on your behalf. However, insurance companies are notorious for offering low-ball amounts that won’t come close to covering an injury victim’s damages. Your legal representative will work to convince the insurer that it will be much less costly to make you a fair offer. Otherwise, the insurer will risk losing much more by taking the case to court.
3. Their Wealth of Experience
As you already know, having hard evidence will be key to winning your case. You’ll need the help of an attorney who knows how to gather the proof you need. These are just a couple of examples of the kinds of evidence in an animal attack case.
Videos and/or photos. Pictures of bite marks, along with video of the animal that attacked you, will be critically important to the success of your case. Other evidence can prove to be vital as well. There could, for instance, be a hole in a fence where the animal escaped. A picture of that hole could go a long way toward proving the negligence of the owner. If you can get a video of the animal to show that it’s aggressive, that could also help.
Previous instances of aggressiveness. Your attorney will also work to find any proof that the animal was previously aggressive toward others. This could mean obtaining video of a dog barking at people walking past, or other proof that the animal acted unpredictably.
4. They Have Access to Resources
In addition, skilled attorneys have access to experts who could testify on your behalf should your case go to court. An animal behaviorist, for example, could show the court that the animal that attacked you was dangerous. And therefore, the owner should have known an attack was possible.
5. Your Attorney Will Advocate for You
When you have a consultation with a personal injury lawyer, you might find the experience to be intimidating. However, a seasoned attorney will do everything they can to make you feel completely at ease.
Once they learn the details and agree to represent you, that attorney will work passionately to make sure your rights are protected at all times. They’ll work to help you obtain a fair settlement, of course, but insurance companies will often play hardball. A strong attorney will be ready to play hardball as well, preparing the most effective argument they can to help you win your case should it find its way into a courtroom.
Call Sand Law Today
The attorneys with Sand Law have the knowledge, skill and resources to help you get every penny you’re entitled to for the suffering you’ve been forced to endure. If you would like to learn more about how we may be able to assist you, please use our online form or call 651-291-7263 for a free case review.