Why do I need representation from a lawyer after a dog attack

dog attack

We understand the debilitating trauma that can result from being attacked by a dog. We know that dog bite scars, both physical and emotional, can last a lifetime and that’s why you need a team who really understands what you or your loved one is going through.

After suffering a dog bite most of those affected have doubts such as:

  • Who is responsible if a dog bites me?
  • What does California law say?
  • What do I do if the owner of the animal is a family member or friend?
  • What can I do if the owners do not accept guilt?
  • Who will pay the medical bills?
  • My family member witnessed the attack and is affected. What can I do?

These and other questions our attorneys can answer.

Dog bites, particularly pit bull bites, are very common in California. The most common scenarios we see in our office where a client was injured by a dog involve:

  • The dog escapes through an open door or gate and attacks the victim.
  • The victim is attacked while walking his own dog. Sometimes the victim is injured when trying to separate his or her own animal from the attack dog, and is bitten.
  • The victim is knocked down by a dog and injured.

Most of our dog bite clients are children and the elderly, who can suffer the most serious injuries. Children and the elderly are less able to defend themselves and can be more easily knocked down, and at that point a dog can attack and cause serious damage.

Keep in mind that dog bite injuries in an older person are generally slower to heal, and can get worse quickly, causing medical complications due to other health problems facing adults.

The older person may even lose his or her independence and free movement due to injuries caused by a dog attack. Call 844-332-9832 for a free consultation about your case.

Why do I need representation from a lawyer after a dog attack?

Remember that the more serious the animal’s attack, the more medical attention you or your loved one needs.

A study done in 2010 shows that the average cost of a hospital stay related to a dog attack is about $18,200.  This is 50{f1f9f9c01afd80b5cbf5eb62b4dc52c71b03eb6f2de9df6e3a106729f0c3810b} higher than the average hospital stay related to general injuries.

Only an attorney who is experienced in this type of attack and case will be able to obtain the compensation you or your loved one deserves.

Reasons why our clients prefer our lawyers to other law firms

  • From the first consultation you speak with an attorney
  • Our attorney will answer all your questions and doubts before taking your case.
  • We travel to your home or hospital if required
  • Honesty first and foremost if we know that your case does not require legal representation we will tell you.

Experience and honesty always go hand in hand with a good lawyer to represent you in these uncertain times.

Dog Bite Statistics in the United States

DogsBite.org provides the following statistics.

  • Approximately 4.5 million dog attacks occur each year in the United States. Of these bites, 1 in 5 become infected.
  • Dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of all homeowner claims in 2015, costing more than $570 million.
  • In 2015, more than 28,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by a dog.
  • Adults with two or more dogs in the home are five times more likely to be bitten than those who live without dogs in the home.

Who is responsible if I am bitten by a dog or animal?

The owner of the animal is usually primarily responsible.

However, a significant economic recovery is impossible without insurance.

Property insurance is the typical coverage that applies. When the owner of the dog is a tenant, the owner of such property may be liable if he/she knew about how dangerous the dog was.

For example, if the landlord or his representatives were aware of the dog’s evil or dangerous tendencies before the attack and could have removed the dog from the property before the victim was injured, or if a dog escaped from the premises because the landlord did not properly maintain a fence, the landlord could be liable.

Prior knowledge that the dog has a history of violence is another situation in which the landlord is responsible.

California Law: Is the dog’s owner responsible?

Unless the dog bite victim has made a break-in or other limited exception under California law, a dog owner is strictly liable for damages caused by his or her pet’s bites.

“Strict liability” means that there is no need for the dog’s owner to have prior knowledge of the dog’s tendencies.

Even if it is the first time the dog acts that way, the dog’s owner is responsible for any damage caused.

California civil code section 3342 states that the dog owner is liable for damages suffered by another person who is bitten by the dog while in a public or legal place in a private place, including the dog owner’s property.

California Civil Code Section 3342.5 imposes an obligation on the owner of a dog that has bitten a human being to take reasonable steps to eliminate any danger posed by other persons from bites by that dog.

On the other hand, under California law, if a dog has bitten a human being on at least two separate occasions, any person, a city attorney or the district attorney may file a lawsuit against the owner to determine whether or not the danger to others has been eliminated with respect to the dog.

Are you hesitant to file a lawsuit if the dog is owned by a relative, neighbor or friend?

In approximately 75{f1f9f9c01afd80b5cbf5eb62b4dc52c71b03eb6f2de9df6e3a106729f0c3810b} of cases of dog bites, the owner of the dog is a relative, neighbor or friend.

The victim may hesitate before making a claim for the injuries he or she suffered because he or she is concerned that the injury may create resentment among family members or acquaintances.

However, it is important to know that in the vast majority of cases, the renter’s or renter’s insurance company will pay the claim.

You don’t need to worry because the money you recover is not from the dog’s owner’s pocket.

Not sure if the dog’s owner has homeowner’s or renter’s insurance?

We can find out that information, our lawyers work to find out what insurance the dog owner has.

First, we ask the owner of the dog to voluntarily disclose whether they have insurance, name of the insurance company and policy number.

If that doesn’t work our next step is to use an insurance tracking company (which only lawyers have access to).

If nothing turns up yet, we’re filing a lawsuit against the dog’s owner. In some cases, where the defendant or owner of the dog claimed he had no insurance company, probably waiting for the victim to leave things that way, after magically filing the claim the coverage appeared.

Common dog bite injuries

The most common dog bite injuries include:

  • The puncture wounds
  • Facial wounds and slow healing of the leg
  • Infection
  • Nerve damage
  • Post-traumatic stress – nightmares and fear of dogs

What can the guilty party do to avoid paying for the injuries?

As in any lawsuit, defendants and insurance companies will seek every means to avoid liability they can find.

This usually means claiming that you are at fault, and caused the dog to bite you. They may claim you ignored a warning about a dangerous animal at the scene.

Many of the dog bites occur when the victim’s dog was first attacked and those responsible defend themselves by saying that it was unreasonable to try to stop a dog fight.

Remember that these types of cases should be represented by an experienced attorney.

The 5 most dangerous breeds of dogs

The Centers for Disease Control compiles data on dog attacks in the United States. Based on these data, the CDC has determined that the 5 most dangerous dog breeds:

  1. Pit Bull.
  2. Rottweiler.
  3. German Shepherd.
  4. Husky.
  5. Alaskan Malamute.

In most cases of dog bites we see that they involve Pit Bull attacks. Injuries resulting from a Pit Bull attack can be horrific.

If the victim does not have health insurance, the medical bills can be overwhelming. In addition, if the victim of a dog attack is absent from work, he or she will be doubly affected in economic terms.

That is why a victim of a dog attack should consult with an experienced dog injury attorney. Why should you be financially liable for damage caused by someone else’s animals?