If You Are the Victim, Is It Advisable to Accept a Settlement Offer Prior to the Trial?
Interviewer: Should the victim, in your opinion, ever settle out of court or should they go through the whole trial?
Attorney Levinson Feels in That Many Cases, It Is Best to Settle Prior to Trial
Bill: We make an effort on every case, dog bite or not, to settle. Whether or not the dog bite case is settled depends in large part or I might say exclusively on whether or not my client and I think that there has been offered adequate compensation. That adequate compensation is generally by my client’s definition.
Attorney Levinson’s Client Provides Input on Whether or Not to Accept the Settlement Offer
Interviewer: Depending on how the client feels about it, in other words, then you decide whether or not to proceed or to accept the settlement, correct?
Interviewer: What percentages of clients do you have that accepts an out of court settlement?
Bill: I would say that most, although, I can tell you the horrific injury case that I told you about is being filed to my absolute astonishment.
Is There a Typical Scenario for a Dog Bite Incident?
Interviewer: Going back to bite cases occurring more in adults than children, what is usually the provocation of that? Are they when people are on their morning jog usually and that have a dog run up to them? Are they visiting someone else’s home? What is generally the premise for the attack?
Many Dog Attacks are Unprovoked; the Animal Perceives Some Threat and Attacks
Bill: There can be a number, but surprisingly attacks are unprovoked. For some reason the dog perceives something that causes the attack.
In Dog Bite Cases, Cases of Moderate Severity Include Scarring and Severe Cases Can Include the Affecting the Function of an Extremity
Interviewer: That’s interesting. It’s not what you would expect. In the moderate severity attacks that you see, are they scarring, are there long-term effects or is it just where it’s broken the skin and you can actually see that there was an attack?
Bill: Generally in the moderate severity case there is scarring and in the more severe cases like the case I mentioned earlier, the function of my client’s arm has been affected permanently.
Whether a Dog Bite Occurred in a Fenced Property or on the Street Makes No Difference in a Personal Injury Case
Interviewer: As far as the animal owner and animal is concerned, if an animal attacks should there have been a reasonable detainment of the animal before the attack for it to be legitimate? In other words, should the dog have been in a fenced yard or if he was off his leash and running loose is that different as compared to him being penned up?
Bill: In my opinion, there is no difference in those scenarios.
Interviewer: So either way, the animal’s owner would be at fault.
Bill: For example, I have represented a mail carrier that walked into a gated premise to deliver mail and was attacked. I’ve also represented and I am presenting now a dog that attacked my client’s dog and my client tried to rescue its dog and was attacked in the rescue attempt.
After an Attack, Animal Control May Be Called to Testify on the Findings of Their Investigation
Interviewer: In a case, is there any communication between you and the animal control or any of the authorities involved?
Bill: Usually animal control is very thorough in its investigation, hearings and reports and final disposition. Most often they’re not at the scene when the dog has done the damage, so we rely on the reports and if we go to court we can subpoena the author of the report to testify as to its content.
Interviewer: Once they’re subpoenaed then you bring them into the courtroom to give their testimony, correct?
Bill: Correct, the animal control officers are witnesses that are subpoenaed for their testimony.
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