Dog Bite Lawyer Los Angeles
Dog bite injuries are excruciatingly painful and have the potential to compromise quality of life for years or even decades. Sadly, plenty of dog owners refuse to use a leash or harness to keep their dogs properly restrained. This negligence is quite problematic considering that the CDC reports nearly 40% of households in the United States have at least one dog.
Nearly 5 million people are bitten by dogs on a yearly basis. The saving grace for those attacked by a dog is our state’s victim-friendly dog bite laws. If you have suffered a dog bite, do not suffer in silence. Our attorneys are here to spearhead your quest for justice and obtain compensation on your behalf after this unfortunate event.
Legal Responsibility for Dog Bites
California law states dog owners are legally responsible for damages resulting from their pet’s bite when the bite occurs in a public setting, and also, when the victim was lawfully present on private property. As an example, it is perfectly legal for a mailman to step foot on private property to deliver the mail. However, if an unrestrained dog bites him or her while attempting to deliver the mail, there is sound legal footing for a successful personal injury lawsuit. Additionally, if you are taking a walk in your neighborhood and a dog escapes its yard and bites you on public property, you have sound legal grounds to take action against the dog owner.
The California law pertaining to dog bites is one of strict liability, meaning the person who owns the dog in question is legally liable for the harm resulting from the bite, regardless of what he or she knew about the dog or what actions he or she took to protect others from the dog. The dog owner cannot avoid liability by claiming he or she did not anticipate the dog’s violent action. Legal liability for the dog owner still exists even if the dog did not bite anyone in the past. Furthermore, even if the dog owner tried to secure the dog in his or her backyard and the dog escaped, he or she is still legally liable for the damages resulting from the bite.
The Elements of Proof to Win a Dog Bite Case
In order to win a California dog bite personal injury lawsuit, the following elements must be proven:
- The defendant named in the lawsuit owned the dog at the time the bite occurred
- The dog bite occurred in a public setting or when lawfully present on private property
- Harm occurred as a result of the dog bite
- The dog played a meaningful role in causing the harm
What Does Lawfully Present on Private Property Mean?
A lawful presence on private property exists when the individual in question performs a duty the law requires such as delivering the mail. Furthermore, one’s presence on private property is lawful when the victim is there at the owners’ invitation, be it an implied or an express invitation.
Why do Dogs Bite?
Dogs bite for a variety of reasons including traumatization from prior abuse, illness, territorial behavior and simply feeling scared.
Dog Bites are Surprisingly Painful
Examples of common injuries resulting form these bites include punctures, lacerations, abrasions, nerve damage, infections and scarring.
When can Legal Action be Taken?
California personal injury law mandates dog bite victims file a lawsuit in the two years that follow the incident. The timeline for legal action is shorter for those injured by a party acting on the government’s behalf or directly for a government entity. A Claim for Damages must be filed on or before six months from the day of the dog bite if a government entity is responsible.
As an example, if a government security officer’s dog bites you in an airport or train terminal, you only have six months from the date of the bite to file the Claim for Damages. Our attorneys are here to help you comply with all the legal requirements to obtain compensation following your dog bite injury.
Damages Resulting from Dog Bites
California law states those injured by dog bites are legally permitted to recover special (economic) damages and general damages (non-economic). Special damages include medical equipment expenses, medication expenses, money paid for medical care and loss of earnings.
Examples of general damages include diminished enjoyment of life, emotional distress, physical pain, anxiety and grief. General damages in the past and also the future can be obtained with the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney.
What to do After a Dog Bite
If you are victimized by a negligent dog owner, take the following steps in the aftermath of the bite:
- Contact Animal Control to report the bite. Obtain the report number for your records.
- Write down the name and contact information of the dog owner.
- If anyone witnessed the bite, write down their names, phone numbers, email addresses and street addresses.
- Take pictures of your injuries as well as the dog bite scene. Try to take a picture of the dog and its owner as well.
The Eisenberg Law Group Tailors Legal Representation to Each Unique Case
Your dog bite injury is undoubtedly different from those suffered by other unlucky California residents. Our legal team is here to closely review the nuances of your specific injury and case. We invest the time and effort necessary to tailor a legal strategy to the idiosyncrasies of your specific injury. This is the type of personalized service other California personal injury law firms promise yet rarely deliver. We take great pride in delivering on our promises, ultimately helping our clients move on to the next chapter of life with the necessary financial support.
Our legal team will handle all interactions with the insurance company and opposing counsel. Let us manage these legal challenges on your behalf and you will be able to square your focus on improving your physical and mental health. Our goal is to maximize the value of your case either in the form of a lucrative settlement or court award.
Have You Been Injured as a Result of a Dog Bite? Our Attorneys can Help
If you have suffered a dog bite injury or any other injury resulting from another person or party’s negligence, reach out to our legal team today. Dial 818-591-8058 to coordinate a no-cost appointment. You will not pay anything unless we emerge victorious in your case with either a court award or settlement. You can also schedule an appointment with our attorneys by emailing us at Office@gcelaw.com or by filling out our online contact form.