If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog and you don’t know who the owner is, you may be wondering if a dog bite attorney can even help. The good news is – yes, an experienced dog bite lawyer can assist you in identifying the dog owner, so you can pursue compensation for your injuries. Keep reading to learn more about how a dog bite attorney in Chicago can help even if the owner is initially unknown.
Get Medical Attention First
First and foremost, if you have suffered injuries from a dog bite, get medical attention right away. This serves two important purposes – first, obviously, is to treat your injuries and preserve your health. Second, the medical records will document details about the bite that can support your case later. An attorney can use medical records to tie your injuries and treatment costs to the incident.
Report The Incident
Next, be sure to file a report about the bite with animal control officers or local law enforcement. Provide details about the attack, a description of the animal, and where it occurred. An official report creates a formal record and prompts an investigation into the identity of the pet owner. Your attorney can follow up by working with animal control to get information about the dog and its owner.
Identify Where The Attack Happened
Even if you don’t have the name of the dog owner, identifying precisely where the incident took place gives clues about whose property the animal came from. For example, if you were bitten next to a house with a loose dog nearby, there’s a good chance it belongs to the residents. An attorney can research property records and follow up with homeowners in the vicinity.
Speak To Witnesses
If anyone else saw the attack happen, get their contact information. Witness statements help confirm details about the incident and lending credibility to your case. They may also provide useful descriptions of the animal and observations about where it ran off to. Share witness information with your lawyer, so statements can be obtained.
Review Surveillance Footage
In today’s world, there’s a good chance nearby businesses or residences may have exterior surveillance cameras. Security footage could have captured images of the uncontrolled dog, which can give investigatory leads. An attorney will explore whether any video is available and use it to aid the effort to identify the pet and owner.
The Attorney Negotiates On Your Behalf
Once the owner is identified, the attorney handles all communication from there. This includes sending evidence requests, negotiating a settlement agreement, and more. If a fair settlement isn’t reached, the lawyer can file a lawsuit and argue the case in court on your behalf. Even without knowing the owner upfront, an attorney pursues accountability and compensation through the legal channels available.
The takeaway here is that not knowing the identity of the dog or owner does not automatically preclude you from taking legal action if you are bitten. An experienced dog bite attorney has investigative resources and legal experience to trace leads back to the responsible party. Though it makes the process more complex, you can pursue financial recovery from a dog bite even without initial knowledge of who the animal belongs to. Reach out to a qualified dog bite lawyer for a free consultation about how they may be able to assist.