While dogs are man’s greatest companion, they can also turn aggressive and bite unsuspecting victims. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of a dog bite, you may be wondering how much dog bite cases settle for.
California Dog Bite Law
California Civil Code 3342 is the California dog bite statute. Under this statute, dog owners are held strictly liable for dog bites. This means that unless the victim provoked the dog, the dog owner is 100% responsible for any injuries caused by their dogs.
When a dog owner is held strictly liable, they must compensate victims whether or not their dogs showed signs of aggression prior to the incident. While the statute holds dog owners strictly liable, there are exceptions. These include:
- The victim was a trespasser;
- The dog was law enforcement;
- The victim was partly at fault; or
- The victim assumed the risk.
Unless one of the above exceptions exists, a dog owner will be required to compensate the victim for their dog’s actions.
What to Do Immediately Following a Dog Bite
What you do after your dog bite can significantly affect your health and your future case.
Seek Medical Attention
Whether you decide to call 911 at the incident scene or visit an emergency room or physician after the fact, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your health is most important. Dog bites can result in minor or severe injuries, and it is best to get yourself checked out to avoid further complications.
If possible, gather information at the scene of the incident, including:
- The type of dog;
- A description of the dog;
- The name and contact information of the dog owner; and
- Photos and videos.
The more information you collect, the more this can help your case.
Report the Dog Bite
You are required to report a dog bite to local health officials for your safety and the safety of others. Dogs are typically quarantined for ten days following the bite to ensure they do not have rabies. Calling your local animal control is an extremely important part of documenting your claim. Please don’t skip this step.
Contact a Dog Bite Attorney
It is in your best interest to contact a lawyer after a dog bite. An attorney can handle your case and work with you to get you the compensation you need after suffering a dog bite injury. Do not hesitate to contact a California dog bite lawyer as soon as possible.
What Is the Average Dog Bite Settlement in California?
No two dog bite cases are the same. Therefore, there is no “average” settlement for dog bite cases in California. Several factors may affect the value of your case and how much you may be able to settle for. Your attorney will review the details of your case, calculate how much your particular case is worth, and work diligently to get you fair compensation.
Factors Affecting the Value of Your Dog Bite Case
Many factors play a role in determining how much a dog bite case is worth. Depending on your particular case, your attorney will consider these and other significant factors when deciding how much your case is truly worth.
The Severity of the Injuries
Dog bites and the resulting injuries can range from mild to serious. Details to consider include:
- Whether the dog bit through the skin;
- How much blood loss occurred;
- Whether the dog transmitted rabies;
- Any resulting permanent damage, including scarring or nerve damage;
- The nature of the attack;
- Where you were bitten;
- The breed of dog; and
- If the dog had bitten someone in the past.
The more serious the injury, the more your case is worth.
The Age of the Victim
The victim’s age is always considered in dog bite cases. This is because adults typically know better than children, and children are less likely to be able to defend themselves. Children may also be scarred for life and suffer long-term effects after a dog attack. Younger victims often recover more than adults.
Long-Term Effects or Disabilities
Dog bites can result in long-term ailments or disabilities. When a dog bite case results in long-term issues, these cases are often valued higher because of greater expenses incurred in the future.
Damages Available in California Dog Bite Cases
The damages available to you will depend on your case. Generally, damages for dog bite cases include:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Lost earning capacity,
- Pain and suffering, and
- Mental and emotional anguish.
Your attorney will calculate the appropriate damages and fight for your right to compensation.
Keep the California Dog Bite Statute of Limitations in Mind
While in many cases dog bite victims will be able to recover from their injuries, you forfeit your right to compensation if you file your claim past the statutory time limit.
A statute of limitations limits the amount of time a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit. In California, the statute of limitations for a dog bite is two years from the date of the incident. If you fail to file your lawsuit within the two-year period, you will not be able to receive any of the compensation you would have usually been entitled to.
Don’t risk the statute of limitations running out on you. Contact a California dog bite lawyer right away.
Contact a California Dog Bite Attorney
Wells Call Injury Lawyers has over 30 years of experience helping injured clients when they need us most. Our team provides a compassionate approach while fighting aggressively for your right to compensation.
We strive to be communicative and easily reached, giving our clients peace of mind while handling their cases. Our firm offers free case evaluations. Contact us today, and let’s discuss your case.