Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend. However, they are still animals, and years of mistreatment, neglect, or exposure to violent training can cause them to lash out at people who mean them no harm.
If you or a loved one have suffered from a dog bite, you can take legal action against the parties responsible for that dog’s care and fight for compensation for your losses. A Santa Monica dog bite accident lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can explain what compensation may be available to you and what your best legal options may be.
Contact us today at (800) 816-0755 for a free consultation about your potential dog bite case.
Why Dogs Attack
A dog who receives the love, care, and space it needs to stay calm is not likely to attack a human being. Unfortunately, dogs do tend to respond to negative stimuli with negative behaviors.
If a dog has been neglected or mistreated, that dog is more likely to respond to unwanted stimuli with violent behavior. For example, if a dog does not feel safe in its home, it will try to isolate itself as effectively as possible. The dog may bark to try to keep people away and bite if it feels unsafe.
Alternatively, a dog may have been trained to engage in violent behaviors based on certain stimuli while in a previous occupation. For example, military dogs or dogs rescued from fight rings have a catalog of learned behaviors that they must spend months or even years unlearning. If you approach a dog and accidentally trigger him, then the dog may think that it is appropriate to bite or otherwise cause you harm.
In some cases, another party may have trained a dog to attack on command and may use those commands to cause you harm. In these circumstances, it will be the dog causing you immediate harm, but it will be the person who issued the commands who you can potentially hold liable for your losses.
The Debate About Dog Breeds
There are myths that suggest that certain breeds of dogs are more dangerous than others. It is true that some breeds of dogs are involved in more bite-related accidents than others. Yet, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), these breeds are not predisposed toward aggressive behaviors. Pit bulls, for example, are considered to be one of the most dangerous dogs available to the general population, but only because they are typically regarded as cage fighting animals rather than pets. German shepherds are more often trained as police or military dogs and have developed a reputation for violence despite their potential for sweet behavior.
If you or a loved one suffers from a dog bite incident, you can certainly take the breed of dog involved into account. However, you cannot hold a dog liable for your losses. Your options for legal recourse are relegated to the dog’s owner and other parties who may have influenced the attacking dog’s behavior or instincts. Contact a Santa Monica dog bite lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to discuss your dog bite case and learn more about your legal options.
For a free legal consultation with a Dog Bites Lawyer serving Santa Monica, call (800) 794-0444
California Law About Dog Bites
In the state of California, you have legal rights available to you if you are bitten by a dog. According to California Civil Code (CIV) §3342, you may hold a dog owner liable for the damages that you or a loved one suffered as a result of a dog bite, as long as the incident in question occurred in a public place or while you had permission to be on the liable party’s property.
That said, it is not just the dog’s owner who may be liable for your losses. You also have the option of holding property owners, landlords, and/or a dog’s caretaker responsible for the damages you might face after a dog bite.
Filing a Dog Bite Claim for Family Members
If you witness your child or another family member being bitten by a dog, you may have the right to seek legal compensation both for your family member’s losses and for the emotional distress you suffered as a result of the incident under California’s bystander laws.
To file a bystander claim after a dog bite, you can work with a Santa Monica dog bite lawyer to prove that:
- You have an immediate blood relationship with the party who was injured or that you are married to said party.
- You witnessed the attack as it happened and were aware that the party to whom you are related or married suffered an injury because of said attack.
- You endured marked emotional distress because of what you witnessed. Examples of marked emotional distress may include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or newly-developed phobias.
Santa Monica Dog Bites Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
We understand how jarring it can be when man’s best friend lashes out against you. As such, a Santa Monica dog bite lawyer can help you step back from your experience and better understand what legal avenues may be available to you.
If the party responsible for the attacking dog fails to offer you a settlement, you have two options for pursuing compensation. These include writing and filing one of the following documents:
- A demand letter – If you would prefer to discuss compensation outside of a courtroom, a demand letter allows you to bring your losses and potential compensation to the attention of the party you believe to be liable for the dog’s behavior.
- A complaint – If you would prefer that a judge review your case, you can deliver a complaint to the appropriate court within California’s statute of limitations. According to the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1, you must file within two years from the date of the dog bite.
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Contact a Santa Monica Dog Bite Lawyer Today
You do not have to let concerns about legal fees keep you from pursuing justice after you or a loved one suffers from a dog bite. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we work on a contingency basis, which means you will not be billed for our services unless you receive compensation for your losses.
Contact us today at (800) 816-0755 for a free dog bite case evaluation.