On May 10, 2011 my St. Bernard was hit by a motorcycle and killed. The gentleman riding the bike was injured and has retained an attorney who is requesting insurance information.
I'm sure it will be easy to prove that the gentleman was speeding and witnesses have told me that he "teased" the dog regularly.
We lost a beloved friend but were willing to let it go as just an accident. (Example: "he could have hit a deer as well," it happens often around this area.)
I would like to know our possible options. Should we hire an attorney as well?
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ANSWER for "Motorcycle Hit and Killed Our Dog...":
Nathan (Lacrosse, Indiana):
If the motorcyclist is determined to pursue a claim against you there is nothing you can do to stop him. At this point your priority should be to concentrate on defending yourself. The best offense is a better defense.
If the collision between the motorcyclist and your dog occurred on your property you should immediately contact your homeowner’s insurance company. In most cases homeowners’ insurance will cover the costs of defense of a claim filed against the homeowner.
It is not uncommon for homeowners insurance policies to include coverage for dog attacks and bites. Although your case is not a dog bite we have every confidence the biker’s claim would be covered under your policy.
You ask if it would be appropriate for you to retain an Attorney at this time. The answer is “maybe”. When any person is contacted by another party's Attorney regarding a pending or soon to be filed claim, they should never speak with that Attorney until such time as they've had an opportunity to speak with their own attorney.
Because most reputable Personal Injury Attorneys do not charge a legal fee for an initial office consultation, you would be well-served to make an appointment at the earliest possible time.
When you explain the facts to your Attorney she will at a minimum be able to give you solid legal advice. Once you hear your options you can decide at that time whether to hire an Attorney or defend yourself.
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.
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Your use of this site does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Before relying on any information found in this site you should consult with a licensed attorney in your state. If you are currently represented by an attorney, you should strictly abide by his/her counsel.