In California, a dog bite victim may pursue legal action against the dog owner. Discovery in a dog bite case is an important part of the victim’s case. When an insurance company does not accept liability, an experienced dog bite attorney will need to carefully prepare the case proving liability and damages. Discovery in a dog bite case commonly includes the following:
Obtain information from the defendant (dog owner) utilizing interrogatories (questions) to help get information about the dog and the events surrounding the dog bite. Productive discovery questions that may be asked include the following:
1. Has the dog ever attacked anyone prior to the subject incident?
2. What action or actions, if any, did you take to safeguard the public against the dog from attacking others while taking the dog on walks?
Obtain important discovery documents. The animal control or police report, veterinarian records, and even the dog’s grooming records are all helpful and provide great information about the dog and the dog’s behavior.
Inspection of the attack scene. Weather the attack occurred at a park or someone’s home, an inspection will give important information as to what happened. For example, inspecting the dog owner’s fence for chew marks or holes where the dog escaped will show that the fence was not secure and safe enough to keep the dog away from children.
Witness statements. It is important to obtain statements of any witnesses that may have been at the attack scene. Also, statements from any friends or neighbors that are familiar with the dog and the dog’s aggressive behavior.
Photographs of the victim’s wounds. Pictures of the victim’s dog bite wounds are direct physical evidence of the attack.
Clothing the victim was wearing. Keep the clothing a victim was wearing. Oftentimes, clothing will usually have tears, holes or even blood where the dog bite occurred.
An experienced dog bite attorney will develop a thorough discovery plan early on in the case. Edward A. Smith has been helping dog bite victims in Sacramento and throughout California for over 30 years. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, contact my office for a free case evaluation at 916-921-6400 or toll free at 1-800-404-5400., www.autoaccident.com. I can also be found on Yelp and Avvo.