A dog bite and related wounds from an attack can result in permanent disfiguring injuries that may require significant medical treatment. This experience also can result in substantial emotional trauma. As a dog bite victim, you may be eligible to pursue compensation against various parties, such as dog owners. A Lakewood dog bite lawyer can help you determine your legal rights to compensation.
We know that recovering from dog bite injuries can be painful, challenging, and extensive. The last thing you need to worry about is financing the costs of a lawsuit to pursue compensation for your injuries. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will take your case without you paying any legal fees upfront or out of pocket. We will collect fees only if you receive compensation due to your losses. Call (800) 816-0755 today and learn more about getting started on your case.
Dog Bite Injuries
Thousands of dog bites happen each year. These injuries are significant in terms of severity and cost. The Insurance Information Institute (III) found that in 2014, dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of the total number of homeowner insurance liability claims. These claims cost more than $530 million. As the number of dog bites has not decreased more than slightly since 2014, the costs of insurance claims stemming from dog bites are likely similar.
Holding Dog Owners Responsible for Dog Bite Injuries
Like many states, California law provides that dog owners are strictly liable for injuries that their dogs cause by biting others. Strict liability refers to a legal standard that does not require evidence of negligence or wrongdoing for a person to be liable. Therefore, dog bite victims need not prove that dog owners were careless or reckless in allowing their dog owners to injure others.
Under the California Civil Code (CIV) §3342, dog owners are liable or financially responsible if their dogs bite people in public places or private places in which they are lawfully present. People are lawfully present on private property if they are performing a duty by law or postal regulations or if the property owner has invited them on the property, whether through an express or implied invitation.
Furthermore, dog owners are strictly liable, whether the dog was previously vicious or if they have knowledge of previous viciousness. A Lakewood dog bite lawyer can assess your situation and help you build a case for compensation against the dog owner, according to this code section.
For a free legal consultation with a Dog Bite Lawyer serving Lakewood, call (800) 794-0444
Exceptions to Strict Liability for Dog Bites
The strict liability standard for dog bite injuries does not apply in every case. For example, if the dog bite victim is unlawfully present on private property, then the dog owner will not be strictly liable for any resulting bite injuries.
Some examples might include dog bites affecting trespassers or intruders who are the dog owner’s property. Since those individuals are not legally present on the private property, they cannot hold the dog owner strictly liable for their injuries. The logic is that if they were not illegally present on the property in the first place, then they would not have suffered a dog bite.
This code section also provides another specific exemption to dog owner liability if a dog bites or otherwise harms others. For instance, a dog engaged in military or police work that bites others generally would not create liability for the government agency in most cases, such as defending the government employee.
Dog bites that occur when law enforcement officials pursue a person reasonably suspected of criminal activity, investigate a possible crime, or execute a warrant are more examples of situations in which dog bites likely would not lead to liability. However, if a bystander not involved in the law enforcement pursuit or investigation suffers a dog bite, this exception would typically not apply. As a result, the law enforcement agency or other government entity could face strict liability for the bite.
If you are ready to start exploring your legal options in your dog bite case, give Pintas & Mullins Law Firm a call today to get started. We can walk you through the process and answer your questions as you weigh your next steps.
Lakewood Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Deadlines for Filing Dog Bite Injury Cases
All lawsuits for compensation in personal injury cases are subject to legal deadlines or statutes of limitations. These deadlines determine how long injury victims have to file their lawsuits. Statutes of limitations differ by state.
In the case of dog bite lawsuits in California, injury victims have only two years from the date of their dog bites to file their legal actions under the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1. If they fail to formally file within this timeframe, they may lose the chance to seek any compensation for their injuries altogether. Failure to meet the relevant deadline can leave you without any other legal recourse in some cases. Although there may be some exceptions to this general statute of limitations, injury victims should be aware of these time restrictions when seeking legal advice.
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Call Us Today for Legal Assistance
If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite, you may be eligible for financial recovery from the dog owner or other potentially responsible parties. A Lakewood dog bite lawyer can help you investigate the circumstances that led to your injuries, determine the identity of all responsible parties, and work to obtain a settlement award for your injuries.
We can handle the complexities of your legal case while you focus your efforts on your physical and emotional recovery from your dog bite injuries. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we know how devastating and permanent dog bite injuries can be. We want you to get compensation from those responsible for your injuries. Call us today at (800) 816-0755 to get started on your case.