Unlike other types of personal injury cases, dog bite claims do not intensively use expert witnesses. Most dog bite cases are straightforward, and experts are not required. On rare occasions, however, it may be necessary to hire an expert to establish liability. The use of expert witnesses in Oak Lawn dog bite cases is fairly standard, and a skilled animal attack lawyer could advise a victim on whether an expert is necessary in their case.
Many dog bite cases settle out of court. For those which proceed to litigation, many will still settle before going to trial. Even if there is an expert witness involved in the case, it is likely that the case will settle before the witness needs to testify in court. On those occasions where the jury must decide liability and/or the amount of damages, the presence of the expert witness on the stand can be a powerful testimony. For example, experts such as plastic surgeons can give authoritative medical opinions on the injuries and the treatments necessary.
An expert witness is someone who has specialized knowledge which may be useful in a case. In dog bite cases, it may be a veterinarian, an animal behavior expert, or a medical doctor. Expert witnesses tend to be expensive to retain, but the injuries may be severe enough to warrant the expenditure.
To make a strong dog bite claim, it is sometimes necessary to hire an expert witness who can give testimony regarding the propensity of various dog breeds to attack. This expert can be a dog trainer, a veterinarian, or even someone from a boarding kennel. Dogs will bite people in different ways, for different reasons, so an expert witness is the best person to explain the nature of the attack to a jury.
In addition to providing general testimony regarding the breed of dog, an expert witness can speak about how the dog was being handled. Most municipalities require dogs to be on a leash when they are outside of their premises. If the owner of the dog is present, they may be under a duty to manage it and avoid an attack. Expert witnesses are accustomed to explaining things to a jury that may not be obvious to someone without training.
In any lawsuit involving a dog bite, both sides can hire expert witnesses, and the conclusions of their testimony will determine who hires them. If the plaintiff hires an expert, that person would presumably give an opinion favorable to the plaintiff, and if the dog owner hires an expert witness, it is more likely the testimony would favor the dog owner. Every case turns on its unique facts, and an expert witness can analyze them and come to an opinion to provide the jury.
Emotions can run high when determining fault in Oak Lawn dog bite cases, but the use of expert witnesses can help put the case into perspective. Their background in medicine or animal behavior could make them a valuable asset in testifying before a jury or pushing for a settlement. Call today to learn more about how an expert can help you case.