As a dog bite victim, you want to make sure you have a strong case to seek compensation for your injuries. The evidence you are able to provide can make or break your claim. Photographs of the injuries, medical records, vet records, and witness statements are critical pieces of evidence in a dog bite case. An Austin Dog Bite Lawyer can assist in this process of getting started.
You should take pictures of your injuries as soon as possible after the attack. Close-up photos of the bite marks and any other injuries will clearly show the severity of harm. Obtain copies of medical records, including emergency room visits, follow-up treatments, physical therapy, or counseling. The records will detail the treatment required and costs incurred due to the dog attack.
If the dog has a veterinarian, request copies of its vet records. The records may indicate if the dog has shown aggression before or if the owner was warned about the dog's behavior. Witness statements from anyone who saw or heard the attack can provide invaluable support for your claim. Their accounts of the events leading up to, during, and after the attack may differ from the dog owner's version of events.
Gathering photographic, medical, veterinary, and witness evidence is key to building a compelling dog bite injury case. With the right evidence and an experienced attorney on your side, you have a good chance of recovering damages from the negligent dog owner.
Photographs of the Dog Bite Injuries
Photographs of the injuries sustained in a dog bite can serve as important evidence in establishing liability. Documenting the nature and severity of wounds with visual records provides objective proof that can corroborate your testimony about the attack.
Pictures should be taken as soon as possible after the incident before any medical treatment. Multiple angles and close-ups of the injuries are best for capturing the full extent of damage to skin, muscles, and other tissues. Any torn or bloodied clothing should also be photographed. These graphic images, though difficult to view, paint an accurate portrait of the harm caused by the dog.
In addition to photographs, medical records related to the injuries can be used as evidence. Emergency room intake forms, physician notes, test results, treatment plans, medication prescriptions, hospital bills, and insurance claims all help validate your injuries and support the damages sought. The breed, size, age and temperament of the dog may also be noted in these records to establish the level of threat.
Witness statements from anyone present during the attack, as well as law enforcement or animal control reports, provide another layer of evidence. Eyewitness accounts of events leading up to, during, and after the incident help recreate the scene and circumstances surrounding the dog bite. Officers who responded may have details about the dog's owner, address, and whether the animal was seized.
Compiling photographic, medical, and witness evidence after a dog bite attack is critical to building a strong case. While the physical and emotional scars may fade, the documentation of your injuries can prevail as proof of the negligence and liability of the dog owner. With thorough evidence on your side, you have the power to hold the responsible party accountable and recover damages.
Medical Records Documenting Treatment
Medical records from treatment of the injuries can serve as evidence in a dog bite case. Hospital and doctor records detailing the injuries sustained, treatment provided, and prognosis for recovery are critical for determining the extent of harm caused.
Records should include:
- Photos of injuries upon initial examination and during follow-up visits to document the progression of healing. Photos provide visual evidence of the severity of bites and lacerations.
- Notes from emergency responders depicting the victim's condition at the scene. These first-hand accounts can reveal the urgency and extent of medical attention required.
- Test results from blood work, imaging scans, or other diagnostics. For example, scans may detect bone fractures or tissue damage not visible to the naked eye. Blood work can also detect infections transmitted through the bite.
- A timeline of treatment, medications prescribed, therapy or counseling recommended, and projected recovery. The treatment timeline reveals the short- and long-term impact of injuries.
- Expenses for all medical care, including projected future costs. Compiling expenses incurred provides evidence for determining damages in a legal claim.
- A doctor’s prognosis on potential permanent scarring, disfigurement, disability or other life-altering consequences of the attack. A medical opinion on long-term effects strengthens the case for non-economic damages.
In summary, medical records offer a comprehensive account of injuries and treatment following a dog bite attack. They provide persuasive evidence for the harm caused and support a victim’s legal right to pursue damages from the dog owner. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer can help determine how best to obtain and utilize medical records as evidence.
Witness Statements About the Attack
Witness statements from people who observed the dog attack can provide crucial evidence for your case. Their accounts of what happened can help establish liability and determine appropriate compensation.
Eyewitnesses to the Attack
Eyewitnesses who saw the attack unfold can provide a firsthand account of events. They may be able to identify the dog, describe its aggressive behavior, and recall key details about the attack that caused your injuries. Their testimony helps confirm important facts about the incident.
People Who Intervened or Provided Assistance
Bystanders who stepped in to stop the attack or helped you afterward are also valuable witnesses. They can describe your injuries and the medical care you required. Their statements demonstrate the severity of the attack and help substantiate your claims about physical, emotional or financial harm.
Law Enforcement or Animal Control Officers
If police, sheriff's deputies or animal control officers responded to the scene, obtain copies of their official reports. These documents provide an impartial account of the events, noting facts about the dog and its owner as well as descriptions of your injuries. They may also include citations or charges filed against the dog owner, which helps establish their liability and negligence.
Doctors, nurses, EMTs and other medical staff who treated your injuries can provide medical records and statements describing your wounds. Their assessment of the severity of injuries, treatment, prognosis, and recommendations for follow-up care can help validate your claims of harm and determine appropriate damages.
Collecting witness statements, police and medical reports, and other evidence as soon as possible after a dog bite attack helps build a strong case. While memories are fresh and details clear, work with your attorney to get accounts from anyone who has information about the incident. Their input can make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim.
The Dog's History of Aggression
A dog's history of aggression is critical evidence in a dog bite case. If the dog has shown aggressive tendencies in the past, it establishes that the owner knew or should have known the dog could be dangerous.
Has the dog bitten or attacked anyone before? Prior attacks prove the owner was aware of the dog's aggressive propensities. Even if the previous victims did not report the incident, neighbors or others may have witnessed aggressive behavior.
Does the dog bark, growl, or chase excessively? Has it snapped or lunged at people or other animals? Repeatedly exhibiting threatening behavior shows the dog's tendency towards aggression and violence. The owner's failure to properly restrain an animal with known aggressive tendencies demonstrates negligence.
Lack of Training
Was the dog properly trained and socialized? Lack of training and socialization at a young age can contribute to aggressive behavior in dogs. If the owner did not take appropriate steps to curb aggression through professional training, it indicates disregard for public safety.
Failure to Warn
Did the owner warn others about the dog's aggression? Failure to post "Beware of Dog" signs or otherwise warn visitors about an aggressive dog shows negligence. The owner had a duty to alert others to the potential danger.
The dog's history, behavior, lack of training, and failure to warn all serve as compelling evidence that the owner knew or should have known the dog was dangerous. An experienced attorney can evaluate the specific circumstances surrounding your injury to determine the owner's liability.
Austin Dog Bite Law: What to Know About Liability
Under Texas dog bite law, there are a few types of evidence that can be used to establish liability in a dog bite injury case.
You will need evidence to prove the dog owner's negligence and liability for your injuries. This includes:
- Photographs of your injuries. Take pictures of any wounds, scars or other physical damage caused by the dog bite as soon as possible after the attack. These provide visual evidence of the severity of your injuries.
- Medical records. Obtain copies of all medical records related to treatment for your dog bite injuries. These records serve as official documentation of the injuries sustained and any procedures required to treat them.
- Witness statements. Get written statements from any witnesses to the dog attack about what they saw happen. Their accounts can provide key evidence to support your version of events.
- Information on the dog's history. Try to find out if the dog that bit you has a history of aggression or has bitten someone before. This can help establish that the owner knew the dog could be dangerous.
- Code violations. Check if the dog owner violated any animal control laws or codes, such as failing to register a dangerous dog or not keeping it properly contained. These violations demonstrate negligence on the part of the owner.
- Police or animal control reports. Obtain copies of any reports filed with police, animal control or other authorities regarding your dog bite incident. These reports contain official documentations of the events.
By gathering as much evidence as possible to support your claim, you build a strong case to hold the negligent dog owner liable for your injuries under Austin dog bite law. The more evidence you have, the more likely you are to recover full compensation.
Fletcher Law Can Help Start Your Car Accident Case
Fletcher Law has extensive experience handling dog bite cases in the area. Our skilled attorneys can thoroughly investigate your claim, gather critical evidence, and build a strong case to help you recover damages.
\n\n### Gathering Evidence
To have a successful dog bite case, certain types of evidence must be collected. Our attorneys know what information is needed to strengthen your claim, such as:
- Photographs of the injuries sustained from the attack including any scarring or disfigurement. Pictures should be taken as soon as possible following the incident.
- Medical records related to treatment for injuries from the dog bite including emergency room/urgent care reports, hospitalization records if applicable, physical therapy notes, and billing statements. These documents help verify the severity of injuries and costs incurred.
- Witness statements from anyone who saw the attack take place or came to the victim's aid. Witness accounts help corroborate what happened and identify the dog and owner involved.
- Records on the dog including veterinary/medical files, licensing, and vaccination details. This information can be used to determine if the dog had a history of aggression or was properly vaccinated.
- Information on the dog owner's homeowner's or renter's insurance. Most policies cover liability for dog bites, so the owner's insurance company may be responsible for compensating the victim. Our firm can work to identify the owner's insurance provider and policy details.
By gathering this critical evidence, our attorneys can build a compelling case to help you recover damages from the dog owner, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. Fletcher Law is dedicated to helping victims of dog attacks get the justice and compensation they deserve. Call our offices today for a free case evaluation.