Personal Injury lawyers in Southern California, including Orange County, Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire
We are here to help. Our dog bite lawyers will provide you with a free case evaluation, giving victims the chance to discuss their dog bite case with a legal expert with no obligations.When a dog attacks an individual – regardless of that person’s age, physical build, or mental attributes – the incident always leaves a mark. This goes beyond the physical puncture wounds and bite injuries suffered by the victim.In many canine bite cases, the incident will take a heavy emotional and physical toll on the victim.
Whether that person is a 6 ft-tall man or a tiny toddler, they may go through a period of intense fear and insecurity as a result of the attack.A dog attack can be extremely traumatic. Dog aggression can result in long-lasting anxiety, in addition to the physical wounds that you would normally associate with a dog bite.Injuries that are typically associated with a serious dog bite can include:
Serious head and face injuries
Long term emotional scars
Statistics show California to be one of the leading states when it comes to dog attacks, canine bite injuries, and fatalities. Figures released by the United States Postal Service revealed that Los Angeles is consistently at or near the top of the charts when it comes to the cities with the most dog attacks on postal workers, while San Diego also made the top-12. A study examining reported dog bites and criminal charges between 2005-2017 found that:
California had the second most dog bite fatalities
There were 45 deaths in California over the study period
About 4.5 million people are injured by dogs every year across the U.S.
According to a report released by State Farm insurance company, California also led the pack when it came to the number of dog bite claims (527) and the payout in these types of cases ($20.3 million). Experts say the state’s high population and the year-round pleasant weather in Southern California could account for the prevalence of dog attacks here.
California has what is known as a “strict liability statute” when it comes to dog attacks. This means that dog owners are responsible for the actions of their pets, even if they have shown no previous signs of aggression or violence. The only exceptions may be when the dog attack was provoked by cruelty toward the animal, or when a dog bites someone who was committing a crime or trespassing on the owner’s property.
However, there are very few exceptions to the strict liability dog bite law in California. In the majority of cases, dog owners can be held financially liable in addition to receiving citations or facing other penalties associated with an attack.
California’s Civil Code Section 3342 states: “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”
There have also been several recent cases in California where courts have upheld personal injury claims against landlords who have allowed a tenant to have a dangerous dog on their premises.
The severity of a dog bite injury can range from relatively minor bruising and puncture marks to life-threatening wounds and long-term damage. Even if a victim’s injuries are not severe, it does not mean that they cannot file a dog bite lawsuit. Any attack can result in a financial burden and lasting psychological scars.
Dog bite injuries can be divided into different grades of severity:
Grade 1: Scratches and bruising
Grade 2: Bite marks but no punctures
Grade 3: Puncture wounds that break the skin
Grade 4: Deep piercing wounds and ripped flesh
Grade 5: A number of different piercing bite wounds from a sustained attack
Grade 6: Fatality
The severity of the dog bite wounds will dictate the kind of medical treatment a victim will require. Every year there are about 900,000 dog bite injuries in the United States which result in some form of medical treatment, with a large number also requiring hospital care.
Often, victims or their families spend thousands of dollars on therapy so that their lives can return to normalcy. Most victims develop a long-term fear of dogs, while some require cosmetic surgery to treat bite marks and scars.
Some patients end up paying out of pocket for these procedures, as well as psychological therapy sessions to combat issues such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Personal injury lawsuits have a two-year statute of limitations in California. This means that you have two years from the date you were bitten by the dog to file your claim.
If your injuries require immediate medical attention, that should be your first step. You should also collect the name, address, and contact details of the dog owner if possible, as well securing contact details for any witnesses. If you cannot identify the dog owner, contact animal control and provide a full description of the animal. Record your location, take pictures of your injuries.
Our law firm is proud to make a ‘No Win, No Fee’ promise. Our law firm advances the costs necessary to win your dog attack case. Contact us to learn more.
The length of a case will depend on a range of factors, such as the severity of your injuries. Your dog bite attorney will need to know the extent of damage, as well as your rehabilitation progress, in order to secure the maximum compensation possible for you. The length of the lawsuit will also depend on whether an out-of-court compensatory settlement can be agreed upon.
If you have been injured, you deserve to be compensated. No victim should be left counting the costs of medical care and other related expenses. To find out if it is worth filing a lawsuit in your case, contact us. We offer a free consultation with no obligations, providing expert legal guidance. There is nothing to lose by exploring your options!
It is unfair that victims pay such a high physical and financial price for a dog attack when the incident was not even their fault. Dog owners should be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages, and losses suffered by these unsuspecting victims.
Injured victims can seek compensation in dog bite cases for damages such as:
Medical expenses – such as hospitalization and surgery costs
Permanent disfigurement or disability
Pain and suffering
Our dog bite attorneys are very familiar with the laws in California regarding unwarranted dog attacks and will be able to fight for you against the dog owner. We have handled a wide variety of dog attacks including Pitbulls and Rottweilers.
Homeowners’ insurance policies usually cover dog attacks. Most of these policies provide between $100,000 and $300,000 in liability coverage. However, if the dog owner is a renter or lacks insurance, the victim can try to hold the property owner liable for allowing a dangerous dog to live on the premises.
In a recent development, Farmers Group notified its policyholders that it would no longer cover bites by pit bulls, Rottweilers, and wolf hybrids under homeowners’ insurance policies.
Despite sharp criticism from pit bull advocates, insurers say bites from pit bulls and other breeds have risen significantly in recent years along with the cost of settling those damage claims.
Farmers said that the three breeds it listed accounted for more than 25 percent of their dog bite claims. Farmers officials also said that these breeds caused more harm than any other breed when they attacked.
In many dog bite cases in California, the victim will decide not to take legal action, or to try to file a case themselves. However, hiring a lawyer is almost always the better route to take.
Our dog bite lawyers are highly experienced and know what it takes to win. They will be able to provide expert guidance and building the best case possible for you.
Our dog attack attorneys are expert negotiators who are adept at securing the maximum settlements from insurance companies. They are also experienced trial lawyers who are not afraid to take a case further if the settlement offer is not satisfactory.
Trust our dog bite attorneys to get the right result for you.
No obligation case evaluation.
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