You might be entitled to compensation if you suffered injuries due to a dog bite under Arizona’s dog bite laws. However, the dog owner’s or other negligent party’s insurance company could do everything they can to deny your claim or pay you less compensation than you deserve. You may need to hire expert witnesses to resolve disputes with the insurance adjuster and convince them to settle your claim for the maximum recovery you deserve.
What Is an Expert Witness in Arizona?
An expert witness is someone who has the qualifications to give an opinion on an issue based on their education, work experience, or training. The court must approve them before they can testify as an expert witness in your case.
What Expert Witnesses Can Help You Win Your Case?
When pursuing a dog bite claim, you have the burden of establishing the dog owner’s liability to compensate you, the seriousness of your injuries, and the amount of compensation you should recover under Arizona law. An expert witness can help you prove your case.
The type of expert witness you may need will depend on the facts surrounding your dog bite and the disputes raised by the insurance company to try to deny your claim or force you to accept less money in your settlement. Expert witnesses that can be helpful in dog bite cases include the following:
A dog breeder can help you establish the dog’s temperament, socialization, and training. They can also testify about the dog owner’s lack of control of the dog when you were attacked. If you are pursuing a negligence claim, their testimony can help prove that the liable party’s negligence caused your dog bite.
Animal Control Officer
If you reported the dog bite to the animal control agency, the animal control officer could testify about their investigation into the attack and what caused the dog to bite you. They could also discuss any other complaints filed against the dog owner and whether any local ordinances were violated in your case—which can be powerful evidence to help you win your claim.
Canine Behavior Expert
A common type of expert used to prove a pet owner’s or handler’s liability in a dog bite case is a canine behavior expert. They would have the expertise to recreate the dog attack for the jury, using vivid details to show how terrifying and dangerous the experience was. They can also testify to the following:
- The dog’s aggressive nature
- Whether the owner knew or should have known about their pet’s violent nature
- Whether the owner or handler could have prevented the dog from biting
- The dog’s history of attacking anyone else
- How this dog breed acts
- The dog’s training and socialization
- Whether the dog’s breed is considered dangerous
A medical expert is commonly used in dog bite cases. They can help you establish how serious your injuries are, the medical treatments you need, and your prognosis for a full recovery. If your injury is long-term, they can also discuss the types of medical care you will need in the future and how your injuries will affect your ability to work and your quality of life.
Mental Health Expert
You could suffer anxiety, depression, PTSD, or other mental health problems due to the terror you experienced during the dog attack. A psychologist or mental health counselor can testify about how being bitten by a dog affected you psychologically and the treatments you need to treat your condition.
You could suffer a devastating injury, such as a traumatic brain injury, internal organ damage, paralysis, or amputation. A vocational expert can testify about how your injuries limit your ability to work or prevent you from working at any job.
You may need to hire an economic expert if you are permanently disabled or must make a career change and take a pay cut. An economist could testify about the amount of compensation you are entitled to for your future lost earning capacity. They can also determine the damages you should recover for future medical expenses.
How Can You Determine What Expert Witnesses You Need?
The best way to figure out what expert witnesses you need to obtain the compensation you deserve is to retain an experienced personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will also have a network of qualified experts you can hire.
Were you injured in a dog attack in Flagstaff or Northern Arizona?
Our experienced personal injury attorneys are here to fight for the damages and justice you are entitled to. Order our free book, Injured in Northern Arizona: What Happens Next Is Up to You, and call our Flagstaff office at 928-226-0165 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation today.