Generally considered to be man’s best friend, untrained or naturally aggressive dogs are the cause of thousands of injuries each year. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, with children being the most common victims of dog bite injuries. Depending on the severity of the attack, injuries can range from cuts and scrapes to torn ligaments and disfiguration, and often are accompanied by high medical bills and lengthy recovery periods.
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries as the result of a dog bite, you have the right to hold the owner responsible for ensuring your expenses are covered. An Inglewood dog bite lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can outline your options and fight to protect your rights. Call (800) 816-0755 today for a risk-free consultation.
What to Do After a Dog Bite
In the days immediately following a dog attack, victims can find themselves overwhelmed, traumatized, and unsure how to proceed. If you or a loved one have been attacked by a dog, the first step is to seek the necessary medical treatment for your injuries. From there, an Inglewood dog bite lawyer can walk you through the next steps. If you’re unable to summon the energy to take these steps, a dog bite lawyer can act as your advocate while allowing you and your family to focus on healing.
How to Proceed After a Dog Bite:
- Document all injuries you’ve suffered. Take photographs and make detailed notes of your injuries to ensure you’ve compiled evidence even after the injuries have healed.
- Contact animal control to determine if the dog has a history of aggression and has previously bitten anyone else. If you’re unsure of the dog owner’s identity, animal control can provide this information as well.
- Contact local law enforcement agencies to report the attack and obtain an official police report.
- Contact the dog’s owner to discuss the incident. When speaking with the owner, victims tend to downplay the severity of injuries and take responsibility for portions of the attack. Be sure to avoid this tendency, as it can impact the viability of your claim.
- Speak with witnesses and gather eyewitness accounts of the attack.
Let an Inglewood Dog Bite Lawyer Help You
Between contacting the various parties, speaking with insurance companies, filling out various forms, and ensuring your claim is filed in a timely manner, handling a personal injury lawsuit on your own is time-consuming and confusing. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a dog bite injury, a personal injury lawyer can represent you while you focus on healing.
California Civil Code (CIV) §3342 clearly states that the owner of any dog is liable for dog bites that occur in a public place or on their private property – regardless of whether the dog has any prior history of aggression or attacks.
A Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help By:
- Identifying, contacting, and communicating with the owner. California Civil Code states that dog owners are legally liable for protecting the safety of others and taking appropriate actions after their dog has attacked. If the dog in question has a history of at least two prior attacks, the legal consequences for the owner increase.
- Overseeing communication with insurance companies to assess the various proposed settlement options and ensure you and your family are being offered a settlement that is fair and covers all expenses.
- Establishing the dog owner’s liability.
- Identifying and communicating with eyewitnesses to gather reports and bolster your case.
- Reviewing your medical records to make sure all expenses are accounted for and covered within the settlement.
- Litigating in a court of law if needed.
The state of California requires dog owners to adhere to a strict set of ownership regulations. From registering their dog and documenting their up-to-date vaccine records to complying with a set of protocols in the aftermath of an attack, dog owners are held to a duty of care designed to ensure the safety of others. If it’s proven that a dog owner has neglected their duties, your settlement options may be significantly more robust.
If you’ve been injured in a canine attack, you have the right to seek financial compensation. California law states that victims have two years from the date of the attack to file a personal injury claim. Reach out to a dog bite lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you comply with California’s statute of limitations.
What You May Be Compensated For:
- Medical expenses that directly relate to the attack and associated injuries
- Wages lost as a result of being unable to work entirely or at your pre-attack capacity
- Emotional pain and suffering, including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. Especially common when the dog bite victim is a child, mental anguish deserves the same coverage as physical anguish.
The physical and emotional consequences of a canine attack can linger for months or years. If you were attacked by a dog and suffered injuries as a direct result, an Inglewood dog bite lawyer will work with you to protect your rights, file your claim, and fight for a fair settlement that covers every expense. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 816-0755 to speak with a personal injury lawyer and discuss your case.
Our team has settled over 10,000 cases nationwide and remains committed to providing caring and compassionate legal services. We will travel to you, regardless of where you’re located, and don’t collect our fee until you collect your settlement. Call today to stand up for your rights.