A dog bite is a traumatic experience that happens to thousands of people each year, according to MedlinePlus. The injury can require medical care, rehabilitation, and even counseling. An animal attack can be incredibly distressing for young children, who are more often the victims than adults.
La Mirada dog bite lawyers will fight for compensation on your behalf if you or a loved one has suffered an animal bite in California. Take time to heal and recover by having your legal counsel investigate and collect evidence for your case.
Dog bite lawsuits are also not exclusive to bites on humans. You can file a lawsuit if a dog attacks your pet. The state has strict laws about pet-owner responsibilities and timelines for filing personal injury lawsuits. Contact the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 816-0755 today.
Dog Bite Lawsuits
According to the California Code of Civil Procedures (CCP) §3342, owners are legally responsible for damages their pets cause. Dogs do not need to have a history of aggressive behavior for owners to be liable for their actions. However, there are exceptions to this law, including attacks by military or police dogs and in cases when dogs bite intruders.
Financial Awards for Dog Bites
Your La Mirada dog bite lawyers will fight for financial compensation for your dog bite injury. Obvious damages you may pursue include medical bills, such as:
- Health care facility and staff charges.
- Medication like antibiotics and rabies vaccinations.
- Physical therapy to regain normal movement after the injury.
- Psychological treatment to recover mentally and emotionally.
You may also ask for compensation for any loss of income due to the bite. For example, you may have missed work to seek medical attention or recover from the injury. If the dog bite left you disabled or unable to work, you may request payment for reduced earnings.
In addition to the physical pain of a dog bite, you may experience mental suffering. Some dog bite victims may develop anxiety, sleeplessness, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or a fear of leaving home. Children may be more traumatized from an animal bite and need more psychological care.
Dog bites can result in permanent scarring, nerve damage, and loss of body parts, such as eyes, fingers, and toes. If the dog bite result left you or your loved one disabled or disfigured, you may sue for future pain and suffering. Disability or disfigurement can worsen long-term psychological effects like depression, low self-esteem, and avoidance of social interactions.
When to Seek Professional Legal Help
A dog bite is a personal injury case. California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1 states that you have up to two years to commence civil actions for a personal injury case. However, you may want to reach out to a lawyer sooner than the time limit. For instance, your attorney can handle communications with the dog owner’s insurance company even if the case does not go to court.
You should also consider hiring a lawyer if the defendant also has legal counsel. Your lawyer will investigate the incident to challenge the defense best.
Owners and their attorneys often use defenses that they were not negligent. Some of these defenses include the following:
- You caused the dog to bite: The defendant may claim that you are responsible for the attack because you provoked it. They may say you harassed, tortured, hurt, or caused harm to the pet, which forced the animal to bite. This can be a strong case for a dog without a history of violence.
- There was an assumption of risk: The defense may try to shift liability to you by stating you knew the risk involved surrounding the dog bite. For instance, a veterinarian or someone who works with animals recognizes the possibility of injury when treating a dog.
- My dog did not bite you: In some dog bite cases, owners claim it was not their pet. Some victims of animal attacks are alone during the incident and are the only witness. Children can also make unreliable witnesses of their attack due to their age, competency, and more. Your attorney may seek expert testimony from the physician who treated you or your loved one as well as a veterinarian to establish that the dog created the wound.
For a free legal consultation with a Dog Bite Lawyer serving La Mirada, call (800) 816-0755
How La Mirada Dog Bite Lawyers Help
Attorneys and legal professionals navigate codes and laws and are familiar with what evidence and procedures help personal injury cases. Since the state upholds the strict liability rule, your lawyer will need to prove that the owner was negligent. A strong case will present the court with evidence that the owner:
- Failed to do something to prevent the attack, such as having proper fencing.
- Did something that caused the attack, like having the dog off-leash in public.
Photographic evidence can prove what happened before, during, and after the incident. Check to see if there was nearby security footage of the attack. The video can show what instigated the attack and if the owner could have done something to stop it.
Pictures and documentation of the injury illustrate its severity. Medical charts, testing results, and other health-related forms can also tell the story in more detail. For instance, an X-ray of a broken bone shows more than just a photo of the bite. Your friends and family members can testify if they viewed the incidence.
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm does not shy away from tough cases. Give us a call at (800) 816-0755.