Can I File a Dog Bite Lawsuit?
Our California Dog Bite Lawyers Investigate Claims
Dog bite statistics reveal how common animal attacks can be and, unfortunately, California is the leader in this trend. A Los Angeles Times study shows that cost of dog bite attacks in California reached $64.7 million in 2014. Additionally, the number of fatalities from dog attacks is rising. Since these attacks usually involve children who are injured on the dog owner’s premises, dog bite lawsuits can be extremely emotional. Often, the dog owner is a neighbor, friend or family member. As a result, you may feel pressured to avoid filing a dog bite claim for fear of ruining a close relationship. However, in most cases, you can collect much-needed compensation through an insurance claim. If you have questions, then our California dog bite lawyers can help you avoid broken relationships while still getting the compensation you deserve.
Ultimately, dog owners have a responsibility to control their pets and protect innocent people from harm. Our California dog bite lawyers can investigate the details of your accident and discover what evidence can help support your claim. At the Solano County law firm of Wells, Call, Clark, Bennett & Clawson, we have the experience you need. We have recovered more than $300 million for past clients in a wide array of personal injury cases, including premises liability claims for dog bites.
Who Is Responsible for a Dog Bite?
A dog attack claim can be as involved and complex as a car accident claim, depending on the circumstances. However, unlike some other states, California dog bite law is relatively straightforward. There is no “one-bite rule,” which generally absolves a pet owner from liability if the animal had no history of violence. Instead, California follows the doctrine of strict liability for dog bite claims. This means that the pet owner is liable for any injuries and damages caused by their pet as long as a few conditions are met. These are:
- The owner’s dog bit you. Strict liability applies only to bite cases – if someone’s pet harmed you by jumping up and knocking you over, for example, then you would have to prove negligence for a successful claim. However, a bite, even a bite that does not pierce the skin, does not require that you demonstrate that the owner was negligent.
- The bite happened in a public place or while you were legally on private property.
Even if strict liability does not apply to your particular case, the dog owner may still be liable for your injuries and damages. Always contact a qualified California dog bite lawyer for advice about your unique situation.
What Compensation Can a Dog Bite Attorney Pursue?
Often, victims of dog attacks are children. In addition to being emotionally traumatizing, the incident often results in severe physical injuries and disfigurement. A child’s face is often at the same level as a dog’s muzzle. As a result, there is ample opportunity for the animal’s teeth to do serious damage.
Our attorneys have decades of experience representing the victims of dog bites and dog attacks. We can fight for the compensation your child need for medical care and psychological counseling. Generally, we pursue compensation for medical tests, ER visits, surgeries, loss of earnings and pain and suffering. However, we can also pursue the money he or she will need for any future reconstructive surgery. Doctors may recommend waiting until your child reaches a certain age before performing plastic surgery. That is why it is so important to obtain the money now that your child may require down the road.
When you file a dog bite injury claim, you are not requesting money from the dog’s owner. As a rule, you are pursuing money from his or her insurance company. Thus, even if your injuries were caused by a friend or family member’s dog, you should pursue compensation. However, negotiating with insurance companies can be difficult. A dog attack lawyer can handle all the details to process your claim as quickly as possible. In most cases, we can negotiate a settlement, which means you would not even need to go to court.
Dog Attack? Contact Our California Dog Bite Lawyers a Free Consultation
Have you or your child been injured from a dog bite on someone else’s property? Do you have concerns about suing your friend, family member or neighbor? Unfortunately, dog attacks are common, especially in California. If you are unprepared, then you face compounding medical bills, time off work and even temporary or permanent disability. Fortunately, our California dog bite lawyers can help you build a case that saves you time and money.
Our firm believes you deserve to be represented by qualified professionals who can protect your best interests. We understand how severe, traumatizing and confusing a dog bite can be. Since 1982, we have represented clients in dog attack claims. We have offices in Fairfield, Vallejo, Vacaville, Napa, Richmond and Woodland. No matter where you are in California, we can help. Call us at 707-452-3478 or contact us online for a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers.
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