California LGBT Dog Bite Attorney
In America, over 4.5 million dog bites occur annually. 77% of these attacks are inflicted upon family or friends of the dog’s owner. Half of all dog bites are to children, often because children unknowingly threaten, anger, or annoy the dog, causing it to act viciously. When being attacked by a vicious dog, you should do your best to fight and protect yourself from injuries. Dogs will typically not stop attacking you if you stay still. Dog bites are a form of personal injury. If you have been injured by a dog bite, we invite you to contact a Pride Legal Dog Bite Attorney today.
Steps to Take Following a Dog Bite
Seek Medical Treatment
Although you may not feel pain immediately, it is imperative to seek medical treatment immediately after any vicious dog bite. If left untreated, the injury can severely worsen.
If you are in the right condition, take pictures of everything you can. This includes your injuries, wounds, the scene of the bite, the dog itself, etc.
Exchange Contact Information
After the dog bit incident, it is important to exchange contact information with the dog’s handler. This will be extremely useful for medical treatment, insurance, and legal purposes. Contact information should include the dog owner’s name, phone number, and address.
If there were people who witnessed the incident, get their contact information. Be sure to get contact information for anyone who witnessed the incident. During a lawsuit or potential insurance claim, eye witness accounts are extremely useful in helping paint a more accurate picture of what happened.
Call Animal Control
In some cases, it is necessary to file a report with animal control to prevent any future dog bites. Additionally, their ruling can help strengthen your own case.
To successfully file a claim, you should have ample evidence to show that you were injured. The first action you should take, though, is to protect yourself and seek medical treatment.
Compensation for a Dog Bite Injury
If you have been injured by a dog bite, you may be entitled to compensation. This compensation may earn you restitution for the following losses:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of future income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental, physical, or emotional distress
- Wrongful death
- Punitive Damages: These are received in civil lawsuits instead of jail time. Although this form of restitution is uncommon and difficult to win, Pride Legal’s network of attorneys has successfully claimed punitive damages for their clients.
Filing a Lawsuit for a Dog Bite
When filing a dog bite claim, it is imperative to understand that you can only file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner. You cannot target anyone but the dog owner during your lawsuit. In order to have a viable claim, you must prove the following
- You were owed a duty of care by the dog owner,
- The dog owner breached this duty,
- AND the breach of duty led to your physical harm.
In order to maximize your compensation, consult an experienced Pride Legal Dog Bite Attorney today.
Strengthening Your Case
In order to successfully win a dog bite lawsuit, you must have vast evidence to support your claim. Following the steps below may strengthen your case:
- Photos of your injuries, the scene of the incident, the dog, etc.
- Medical bills
- Doctor’s prescribed treatment
- Pictures of the property, specifically if the house is missing warning signs or the dog was off its leash
- Eyewitness testimony
- Surveillance footage (if available)
- A copy of the incident’s police report
- Dog’s previous history of violence
- Dog owner’s contact and insurance information
- File the lawsuit within the statute of limitations
Common Dog Bite Injuries
The majority of dog bites do not require medical treatment, but some result in serious injuries. A dog bite may cause the following injuries:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Puncture wounds and lacerations
- Internal bleeding
- Severed limbs
- Permanent disfigurement
- Nerve damage
- Muscle damage
- Psychological distress
Value of a Dog Bite Claim
The value of your dog bite claim is dependent upon the given circumstances of your incident. Factors considered when estimated a dog bite claim include:
- Your age
- Job type
- The severity of your injuries
- Impact your injuries placed on your life and career
- Level of negligence displayed by you or the defendant in the dog bite incident
A case in which the plaintiff was severely injured would generally be valued more than a case in which the plaintiff suffered minor injuries.
Strict Liability on Dog Bites
California holds strict liability laws, which states that dog owners are responsible for their dogs’ actions regardless if the given incident was the first time in which the dog attacked or bit someone. Even if the owner was not negligent, he or she will be held liable for the dog’s actions. The only exceptions to these strict liability laws are the following:
- The victim was not lawfully allowed on the property on which the incident took place
- The dog was a police or military canine unit in action
- The dog did not bite, but rather scratched, jumped on, or tackled the victim
- The dog bit another animal or pet, rather than the owner himself
- The dog bite victim is a person who professionally works with dogs (such as groomers, veterinarians, etc.)
There are a few different ways that dogs can be considered dangerous. The presence of dangerous dogs and the incidence of bites could require dogs to be removed from the area or euthanized. A dog is listed as dangerous if:
- The dog forced people to defend against aggressive behavior in two or more separate incidents in the last three years
- The dog bit someone with no provocation or reason
- The dog bit or injured a domestic animal or pet twice in the last three years
- Puncture Wounds from Dog Bites
Due to the complexity of California’s legal system, it is critical to contact a Pride Legal Dog Bite Attorney today. Your attorney will fight to receive the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Contact Pride Legal
If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog bite, we invite you to contact us at Pride Legal for legal counseling or any further questions. To protect your rights, hire someone who understands them.