Dogs are often cherished members of the family and loved and respected companions for millions of Americans. For the most part, these animals are cuddly, cute, and friendly. However, regardless of how even-tempered or well-trained a dog is, when it’s scared or perceives a threat, animal instinct could kick in, and aggression could result.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries or died because of a dog bite incident, a Cerritos dog bite lawyer will fight to hold the owner accountable and seek the financial compensation you deserve. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 816-0755 for a free consultation with a team member.
Understanding Cerritos Dog Bite Laws
As a strict liability state, California holds dog owners to standards more stringent than many other states regarding dog bite injuries. Statewide, statutes govern everything from registration and licensing to the handling of “dangerous dogs.”
The City of Cerritos requires dog owners to:
- Have a valid license for their animal.
- Have no more than three dogs on their premises.
- Always keep their dogs leashed and under control.
California Civil Code (CIV) §3342 holds dog owners legally responsible any time their dog bites another person and causes damages. As a strict liability state, a dog does not need to have a history of prior attacks for the owner to have legal responsibility for a victim’s injuries. The victim also does not need to show the owner’s knowledge of any prior viciousness.
In California, dog bite victims have the right to seek financial compensation for medical expenses, loss of wages, and pain and suffering so long as the attack happened on public property or while they were lawfully on private property.
Dog Attacks Require a Higher Level of Proof
If you suffered injuries in a dog attack that did not involve a bite, strict liability would not apply to your damages. You must prove the owner’s negligence to recover awards for your losses. Unleashed dogs, dogs that have escaped their yard, and those not kept under control in public all violate the statutes governing dog ownership, and you could use this evidence to hold their owners fully responsible for your injuries.
Next Steps After a Dog Bite
If you suffered injuries after a dog bit you or lost a loved one because of their bite-related injuries, a Cerritos dog bite lawyer will advise you on the next steps.
Injuries associated with dog bites can include tissue damage, bone fractures, severe lacerations, loss of a limb, disfiguration, and more. For severe injuries, treatment can become expensive and time-consuming. Victims may become unable to work for weeks or months. Once their doctors clear them to return to their job, many find themselves unable to work in the same capacity as before the attack.
After a dog bites you in Cerritos, you could take the following steps:
- Seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Be sure to document the visit and any injuries associated with the attack.
- Photograph all injuries, blood-stained clothing, and anything else that speaks to the nature or severity of the attack.
- Identify the dog’s owner, gather contact information, and secure proof of the animal’s licensing and registration. Under Penal Code (PEN) §398, an owner or caretaker must provide you this information or face a $100 fine.
- Consult with a personal injury or wrongful death lawyer to discuss the specifics of your case and move forward with the next steps in filing a claim. A Cerritos dog bite lawyer can help you file your claim before California’s personal injury and wrongful death statute of limitations (two years under California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1) runs out.
The aftermath of an attack could turn into a confusing whirlwind of confusion, anger, and legalities. If you’ve suffered injuries, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can fight to protect your legal rights while you focus on healing physically. Call us today to get started.
For a free legal consultation with a Dog Bite Lawyer serving Cerritos, call (800) 794-0444
How a Cerritos Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help
Dog bite victims can seek full and fair compensation for the damages they’ve suffered because of the attack. Individuals who have suffered injuries in an attack could file a personal injury claim to seek financial compensation. For those who have lost a loved one in an attack, a wrongful death claim can ensure your family doesn’t add financial ruin to the already inevitable emotional devastation.
You could claim the following damages in a dog bite claim:
- Pain and suffering: Canine attacks can be traumatic. Victims often suffer from stress, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—especially if the victim is a child. Under California law, you can hold the dog owner responsible for ensuring you get the help you need to recover from the attack emotionally.
- Medical expenses: Regardless of the severity of your injuries, shouldering the costs of the associated medical expenses should not fall to you. You are entitled to seek compensation for all medical expenses. These can include doctor’s visits, specialist consultations, X-rays, surgeries, and more.
- Lost or reduced income: If your injury has left you unable to return to work or meant that you can no longer work in the same capacity as before the incident, you can include these lost wages and reduced earning capacity in a personal injury settlement.
- Burial and funeral costs: As if the emotional devastation of losing a loved one isn’t enough stress, the financial cost of a proper burial can become expensive. A wrongful death claim allows you to hold the dog owner responsible for covering the costs so you and your family can focus on healing and moving forward with your lives.
If you’ve suffered injuries in a dog bite incident or have lost a loved one as a result, let Pintas & Mullins Law Firm fight for your rights while you focus on healing. Our Cerritos dog bite lawyers will work for justice and compensation on your behalf and only collect a fee if you recover an award. Call (800) 816-0755 for a free consultation with a team member today.