A dog bite can be scarring, both physically and emotionally. If a dog bites you or a loved one, you should not be responsible for the related costs in most situations. Animal attacks can be costly and require extensive treatment. Even minor bites could require doctor visits, antibiotics, vaccines, and other medications for weeks following the attack.
There are laws in California that protect victims of dog bites. An Arcadia dog bite lawyer can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. To learn more about your legal options, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 816-0755 for a free consultation.
Filing a Lawsuit Against the Responsible Party
Dog bites are more common than you think, with millions of people suffering from dog bites each year. Sadly, the victims are often young children. The wounded and their parents can spend thousands of dollars on treatment and follow-up care. However, according to California law, the at-fault party should be responsible for paying these costs.
California Civil Code (CIV) §3342 states that pet owners in California are responsible for any damages caused by their animal. This means that victims can seek compensation for their dog bite injury. If the attack resulted in wrongful death, family members may be able to sue for reimbursement for medical expenses, funeral fees, and burial costs. Family members may also seek additional compensation for mental anguish and loss of income if the deceased was a financial provider.
One of the first steps for seeking compensation is to gather evidence. An Arcadia dog bite lawyer can help you investigate and build your case. You will also need to notify the dog owner or responsible party of your intent to seek financial awards. Your lawyer can draft the notification with all the required information.
Insurance companies may want to settle out of court to cut their costs. They typically offer the minimum amount to cover economic damages like medical bills and do not consider future costs or non-economic damages (such as mental anguish). Negotiating with an insurance company representative can be difficult when you are recovering. An Arcadia dog bite lawyer can help you fight for maximum compensation in your case and represent you in court if a fair settlement cannot be reached.
Time is of the essence. According to California Civil Code and Procedure (CCP) §335.1, dog bite victims in California have just two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. Contacting an Arcadia dog bite lawyer can get the process started. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free case evaluation about your dog bite injury.
Evidence for Dog Bite Cases
To win your case, you will need to prove that the dog owner is responsible for your injury. Dog owners may be liable for damages if they were negligent—in other words, they failed to do something that a person should or would typically do.
Some examples of dog owner negligence include:
- Failure to keep the pet contained, such as a broken gate, decrepit fence, or insufficient leash or collar
- Training the dog to attack people
- Not controlling the animal
- Hiding a history of biting
- Breaking the law, such as not following leash laws
Photos and videos can be the strongest pieces of evidence in personal injury cases. Surveillance cameras, cellphones, and other image-capturing devices may be able to show exactly what happened and who is at fault.
Testimony from witnesses of the attack can also confirm the accused dog. Some owners and/or their defense lawyers may claim that their pet was not the dog that attacked. Ideally, witnesses can also recount the actions that occurred before and after the bite, especially if the defense is claiming that you provoked the animal and are partially responsible.
Witnesses can also testify to the physical pain and mental anguish you or your loved one experienced after the bite. Professional testimony, such as written letters from doctors and therapists, can help detail the consequences.
To strengthen your compensation claim, gather all receipts and bills related to the dog bite. These expenses may include:
- Emergency medical care
- Doctor visits
- Ongoing treatments
- Counseling and therapy
If you or a loved one missed work because of the injury, your lawyer may seek reimbursement for lost wages. Compensation for future wages may be necessary as well if the injury prevents you from returning to work. Wage and income documentation can help establish your loss of earnings.
Disability claims may also involve additional payments for decreased quality of life. If you or a loved one needs assistance with daily tasks, such as feeding or dressing, the dog owner may be responsible for home care costs.
For a free legal consultation with a Dog Bite Lawyer serving Arcadia, call (800) 794-0444
Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries
You should not have to pay for injuries that are not your fault. Compensation for dog bite injuries can cover both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include any monetary losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and other calculable amounts. For families who lost a loved one, economic damages can also include burial and funeral costs.
Non-economic damages are losses that cannot be calculated, such as physical pain, emotional anguish, and loss of a loved one. Non-economic damages for dog attacks may include:
- Pain and suffering – The physical pain from dog bite wounds can be excruciating. A dog bite may cause nerve damage, broken bones, infections, and more.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder – Victims of dog attacks often deal with mental anguish following a severe bite. Children especially may be prone to developing a lifelong fear of dogs if their earliest memories include a dog bite. Mental anguish can also affect a person’s behavior and performance at work or school.
- Loss of confidence – If the results of the attack left the victim scarred or mutilated, their feelings of self-worth can decrease.
- Permanent disfigurement – Victims may have lifelong scars or defects, such as missing fingers or eyes. Attacks that cause a disability can prevent mobility and ability and decrease future earning potential.
Arcadia Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
An Arcadia dog bite lawyer can help fight for the compensation you deserve. The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is ready to review your case and explain your legal options, so we can get started. Contact us today at (800) 816-0755 for a free case evaluation.