To prove that your dog attack qualifies for compensation, your attorney must collect as much evidence as possible. This evidence should show that the defendant’s dog exhibited certain behaviors, and that the owner should have known that the dog was a threat to the safety of the community. This is especially important if the dog’s owner is contesting the claim.
One of the most important aspects of a dog attack case is evidence of the dog’s behavior. The dog will be examined by a behavioral specialist and veterinarian, and the records will be explored. Then, other evidence about the dog’s behavior and ill-nature will also be used to establish that the dog was, in fact, dangerous.
Identifying the Dog
The first and most important step is to identify the dog that attacked you. This means knowing its physical features (breed if possible), age, sex, size, and the color of the dog’s coat. Also, unusual characteristics should be noted, such as a spot over one eye. The minute details can help identify the dog; without proper identification, you cannot prove that the owner is responsible for your injury.
Investigating the Area Where the Dog Was Kept and Where the Attack Occurred
Another valuable component of evidence is where the dog was kept, since how and where the dog lives could determine its temperament. If the dog was chained in a backyard or locked in a gated section of the yard, it is likely that the dog’s owner knew there was a risk to the public. Also, “Beware of Dog” signs could be used to show that a dog’s owner knew that there was a propensity for violence from the dog.
Animal Control Records
Animal control records are helpful if animal control has ever picked up the dog or if the dog was quarantined for a previous attack. Animal control will also have complaints on file about the dog’s barking and other complaints, such as running loose in the neighborhood. If the dog has a propensity for escaping, then the owner should take steps to prevent that. If the dog escaped and attacked someone, the owner could be liable.
Veterinary Hospital Records
The dog’s vaccination history is critical for a victim’s health (ensuring that he or she has not contracted rabies), but will also give valuable information to the courts. If the veterinarian had to muzzle the dog, treat it for injuries from previous dog fights, or if there are notations about the dog’s behavior, then these could help prove that the dog was high-risk to the community.
An Expert’s Examination
To see if the dog is, in fact, aggressive, a professional may conduct a behavioral analysis. The professional will look for aggressive behaviors that are similar to what happened in the attack incident. Once done, the expert may be able to reconstruct the event and help the jury see what prompted the dog to attack, and how it could have been prevented.
All This Evidence Requires the Assistance of an Attorney
When trying to gather evidence about a dog’s history, you will encounter plenty of red tape. However, an attorney can use legal tactics to release dog records and obtain the evidence required. Also, a dog attack attorney has access to behavioral experts who can assess the dog.
After your injury, you should focus on recovery. Let the evidence and behavioral analysis be handled by attorney Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq. Contact him today for a free consultation at 215-771-0430 (cell) or 215-987-3550 (office). You can also ask him a question online.