Witnesses Are Crucial To Your Dog Bite Injury Claim
After an attack from a neighborhood dog, it would seem that the bite marks and scars would be enough evidence to prove your claim. However, while these physical manifestations of a bite hold merit, they don't always provide background information, and without this information, it's often hard to determine fault. Discover just how important a role witnesses can play in your case.
Witnesses Strengthen a Case
A witness can help strengthen your case by providing relevant information about the attack, the dog, and the owner. Here is just some of the relevant information you should collect witness statements for.
If the dog has attacked someone in the past, getting a detailed statement from the victim is especially beneficial. A history of attacks shows a pattern of aggressive behavior on the part of the dog. If the dog has already attacked someone once, it might be more convincing that the animal would do it again.
Statements that attest to negligence on the part of the owner are also helpful. For instance, does the owner have a history of leaving the fence gate open or walking the dog without a leash? This type of behavior generally paints the picture of an owner who isn't responsible and doesn't do their part to safeguard the community.
Even if the dog has not previously attacked someone, if there are witnesses in the neighborhood that can provide statements about the dog's previous escapes, this information is also helpful. For instance, if there is a case of a child who was bitten by a dog that escaped from a fenced area and wandered onto the playground, this history shows the dog was not safely contained.
The legal team representing the dog's owner will undoubtedly do whatever they can to discredit a witness. To make their efforts less successful, it's critical you choose the right type of witness.
Make sure the person providing the statement is someone who would be able to speak to the topic they're discussing based on where they live. For example, for a statement about an owner that frequently leaves their gate open, a statement from a neighbor who lives several blocks away might not be very credible.
Be mindful of the previous interactions the witness has had with the owner. If the two have had a contentious background, the other legal team might be able to argue that the information they are providing is simply a part of a vendetta. A neutral party is always the best.
Make sure you try to find as many witnesses as you can to help support your claim. With these witness statements, a dog bite attorney can help present a case that clearly shows the aggressive actions of the dog and any negligent behavior on the count of the owner. Combined, these factors can help you win your case.