The Role of a Canine Expert in a Dog Bite Case

canine expert witnessDepending on the circumstances that led to your dog bite injury case, you may need an expert witness for your trial – or several. 

Expert witnesses are individuals with specific, technical or specialized knowledge about particular subjects. They must have gathered this knowledge through education, training, and/or work experience. Many canine experts are individuals with high degrees and years of hands-on experience working with dogs. 

These experts are hired to analyze your dog bite injury case and testify in front of the judge or jury. The expert’s testimony should provide the judge and jury with a better understanding of specific issues, support your claim of the other party’s negligence, and reinforce your need for compensation.

Why You May Need a Canine Expert

The main circumstance where expert witnesses in Washington state dog bite cases are considered useful is in establishing whether or not the dog or its owner was at fault due to lack of proper standard of care.

If a dog attacked you because it was not on a leash, that is straightforward and the services of an expert are not necessary. However, if the dog was improperly trained or cared for, an expert could testify to that fact. 

A canine expert is also required to establish the standard of care necessary for proper confinement of a dog. For example, if a dangerous dog was fenced in with only minimal signage warning visitors, an expert could prove negligence on the part of the dog’s owner. 

Types of Canine Expert Witnesses

Generally, there are three different types of canine expert witnesses your attorney may choose to bolster your case, including: 

  • Experts with dog experience: These people have decades of experience working with a variety of different dogs in a multitude of settings. This may be a dog trainer or breeder, or someone else that works closely with dogs. Their testimony could offer insights about negligence, temperament, socialization training, the business of dog training, and provocation.
  • Experts with experience dealing with dangerous dogs: Another type of canine expert is someone who has experience handling and controlling dangerous dogs. Oftentimes this is a current or former animal control officer that is well versed in dog bite investigations and compliance with state and local laws regarding dogs. 
  • Experts with academic training: The final type of canine expert may be a veterinarian, canine behaviorist or veterinary behaviorist with a background in canines. These experts can provide opinions on specific breeds of dogs, a dog’s health, temperament, etc. 

A canine expert must be able to hold up to scrutiny from the insurance company and cross examination by the defense lawyers. The best experts in dog bite cases are usually highly qualified behaviorists — these experts look at a case from all angles and formulate a plan. 

Not all cases require the same type of expert. For example, a case involving a pit bull attack may require the help of an animal control officer, while an attack involving a family’s pet bulldog may benefit from the services of a canine behaviorist.

Dog Bite Lawyers in Washington State

The Washington state dog bite attorneys at Davis Law Group, P.S., routinely handle cases throughout the state of Washington. Our client representation covers the entire state, from Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, Yakima, Spokane and everywhere in between. No matter where you are in the state of Washington, our lawyers stand ready to help you.

If you or a loved one has been the unfortunate victim of a dog bite please contact Davis Law Group. The exceptional level of experience and personal care can make a difference in the outcome of your case.

Call (206) 727-4000 today for a free dog bite case evaluation. You can also use the form located on this page or use the convenient chat feature below.

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Chris Davis
Award-winning personal injury attorney and founder of Davis Law Group, P.S. in Seattle, Washington.