Whether it's an auto accident, slip and fall, pedestrian or bicycling accident, or dog bite, it's important to work with an attorney who can help you sort through the incident facts, understand who may be at fault ("liability"), as well as injuries and damages. Ultimately, you want the responsible party to compensate you for what you've been through. But each type of injury-accident has its own unique set of considerations, both for liability and damages.
So many variables begin to solidify almost immediately after the collision, which can help define (and often limit) the quality of your potential injury claim. Were police called and did they investigate the accident scene? Was anyone given a ticket or other citation for having caused the accident? Did you happen to get pictures of your car's property damage, or of the other car at the accident scene? Any witnesses? Has the other driver's insurance called and asked you for information about the collision? Did you have to take the ambulance to a hospital ER? Was your car towed? Once the shock of the collision begins to wear off, you may wonder what's next: Should I see a doctor? What about property damage to my car, or getting a rental? What about missing work due to my injuries?
Slip and Fall
Though not nearly as straight forward as auto accidents, you may still have a good slip and fall ("premises liability") claim against a business if you can show that the business either knew or should have known of a unreasonably dangerous condition but failed to properly warn you or fix the condition before you got there. Much depends on the accident facts themselves: what did you slip in or on? Witnesses? How do you know they (the business) either knew or should've known about the condition that caused you to slip and fall? Were you able to fill out an incident report? Do you have pictures of the spill or other hazardous condition?
Runners, bicyclists and other pedestrians have rules for crosswalks, "walk/don't walk" flashing signals, and bike-lane use. But cars have rules too -- much can depend (again) on the police report, as well as any witness statements or admissions by the adverse driver.
There are certain breeds of dog that are recognized as dangerous, or in other words, that the owner knows his dog may be inherently dangerous or have dangerous tendancies. But it must also be shown that the dog was unreasonably out of the owner's control. As with the slip and fall, it often comes down to "notice" - did the dog's owner know the dog was out of his control? Was the injured person involved at all with the dog's escape or heightened aggressiveness? Did the injured person treat with a doctor right away? Is there an animal control incident report? Have there been other similar incidents involving this dog?