In every dog bite or dog mauling case, we must prove a number of things.
The first thing we have to prove is what the law calls liability. Because Utah law has a statutory law that makes the dog owner strictly liable (automatically responsible) for the acts of their dogs proving liability might seem easy. However, nothing should be taken for granted. We need to prove that the suspected owner of the dog is in fact the owner of the dog. We can prove liability in a number of ways including eyewitness testimony, pictures and by using private detectives.
We also have to prove that you or your child have what the law calls damages. Damages are harms and losses – both tangible and intangible. There are financial harms (past and future lost income, past and future medical costs), pain and suffering and emotional harms. We can prove damages with documents and witness testimony showing the lost income and the medical bills. We can prove the pain and suffering by testimony of witnesses and showing the jury the actual pain and suffering you or your child endure. We can prove emotional damages from the testimony of expert witnesses such as psychologists and psychiatrists.
We also have to prove what the law calls causation. Causation simply means that the dog caused your damages. Often insurance companies will claim that you or your child provoked the dog to attack. Insurance companies will also claim that you or your child were hurt but not nearly as much as you are claiming. Our job, as your attorney, is to show the jury the link between the dog bite or mauling and your harms and losses. We do this through witness testimony and documents. We even hire experts to prove that the dog caused your injuries.
This is all we need to determine if you have a case. We have to prove that the other person owned the dog (liability), that you or your child suffered harms and losses (damages) and that the dog bites or mauling caused your damages (causation). That might be all we need to determine if you have a case but in order to have a successful case there is one more very important thing you need.
The person who is responsible for the dog must have money to pay. That usually means that the person owning the dog has good home-owner insurance coverage. However, even if the person owning the dog does not have insurance coverage, you might still have a good case. Even if there is no insurance coverage a good dog bite attorney will have the means to investigate to see if the person who owned the dog has any assets that might be seized to make payment.
If you need help in your dog bite or dog mauling case we are ready to provide you the assistance you need. Remember – there is never any fee until we get money for you. Call George Tait Law for a free consultation at 801-487-6454 or toll free at 800-953-4811. You can also fill out the e-mail form and we will contact you as soon as possible.