During my thirty years of handling cases, I have handled approximately fifteen dog bite cases. When I tell people about this fact, many people are shocked! People cannot imagine this happens which tends to leave a great burden on the lawyer to prove that the victim was not at fault and the injuries were caused by the owner's pet.
Almost all dog bite cases are initially disputed. They blame the victim's actions as the cause of the dog to bite claiming the victim provoked the dog. Provocation is a defense to a dog bite cases and in some jurisdictions you as the lawyer have to prove that the dog owner was knowledgeable about their dog's dangerous propensities. Sometimes you need to show the dog had bit someone prior to your case.
Most of the dog bite cases I have handled involved children being bit by dogs. Often times, the bite occurs when the child visits a friend's house for the first time. In some cases I have handled, the dog bite is to the child's face.
When a dog bite occurs, It is important to evaluate the injury with a plastic surgeon to determine whether or not a victim's scar will remain at the location of the dog bite. Every dog bite case required the injured party to be evaluated by a plastic surgeon. Usually the surgeon will look at the location of the initial bite and follow up with an evaluation at six months and then one year later to determine the permanency and size of the scar. With regard to children, the child will get bigger over time and the scar will expand and possibly diminish with the expansion of the skin. However, if the dog bite is deep enough the scar will most likely remain even after the child gets bigger.
Because it is difficult to imagine your pet causing an injury, some cases settle after a deposition by the dog owner and witnesses to the incident who cannot produce any evidence that the injured person provoked the pet in any way. After that testimony, usually the dog owners insurance company will settle. The dog owner's homeowner's insurance company will provide coverage for the incident. It is necessary to hire an attorney with knowledge of dog bite cases and its law and defenses because EXPERIENCE MATTERS!