Defending a false dog bite claim...
My two dogs, who are CGC certified (Canine Good Citizen) and registered therapy dogs, ran out to a man in the street walking his dog. My dogs are a golden retriever and Siberian husky, and he was walking a yorkie.
The man immediately started yelling at me as to what I was thinking and said he has already been attacked by a pit bull, all the while, my dogs were excited to see his dogs and just wanted to play. He picked his dog up and I gathered my two to put them into the house.
He called the police and told them that my dogs attacked his dog. Animal control came and looked over his dog and took pictures and found the dog to be completely fine. The man then claimed to have gotten bit and showed a small scratch that was on his hand/finger.
Reports were filed with both the police and animal control and neither felt the evidence showed any indication of a vicious attack and they did not believe his scratch was a dog bite. The police report did state they observed a small scratch on his hand/finger and he refused medical attention.
Now, we have received a letter from his lawyer stating he and his dog were attacked and both were bit. It also states he fell during the incident causing injury to his right arm and knee. He did not fall during the incident, there is no documentation of a fall, and my one neighbor saw him holding his dog in the street.
The letter is asking for our insurance information, but we are renting and do not have renter's insurance. This took place in the street, just in front of the home we are renting.
I'm wondering if this guy is really going to get away with making a false claim, alleging he and his dog were bitten and attacked, causing injuries to his knee and arm. Do we have to worry his lies are really going to cost us a ton of money? How do we defend against these allegations? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Defending a false dog bite claim...":
Anonymous (Augusta, GA):
From the facts you present, one wonders why an attorney would agree to accept such a case. In the first place, you have no insurance, which would make recovering compensation more difficult. In the second place, the man’s injuries, if any, seem quite minor.
With that said, anytime a person receives a letter from an attorney that person should take it seriously. Like most other professions, there are good professionals, and not so good ones. In this case, the attorney's motivations in pursuing you appear to be questionable.
You must take the letter seriously. This means you must seek out the advice and counsel if a personal injury attorney. Unfortunately, you will likely have to pay the attorney either an hourly fee, or a flat (set) amount for his or her services.
Your attorney can intercede on your behalf and hopefully end this matter before it evolves into a lawsuit.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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