A dog’s behavior often reflects the lessons its owner has taught it. Even so, walking away from a dog bite can leave you with a lot of dog-related trauma, not to mention personal injuries and property damage.
California Civil Code (CIV) §3342 provides you the right, after a dog bite accident, to hold the dog’s owner liable for the losses that result from your encounter with their animal. However, you may also have the opportunity to hold the following parties accountable for a dog’s behavior:
- The owner of the property where the dog bit you if that property owner did not own the dog.
- The landlord of the property where the dog lived.
- A dog’s caretaker (e.g., a professional walker or trainer) if that caretaker did not own the dog.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can walk you through the process of identifying the parties you can hold liable for your losses. In turn, you can request representation or legal advice from a Torrance dog bite lawyer.
To discuss your potential compensation after a dog bite incident, call our team today at (800) 816-0755 for a free case consultation.
Fighting for Compensation After a Dog Bite Incident
There is no one correct way to go about fighting for compensation after a dog bite incident. You can speak with a Torrance dog bite lawyer to determine which of the following fits your situation best.
If a dog’s owner takes responsibility immediately for your attack, they might offer you a settlement at the scene instead of waiting for you to approach them. While you might find it tempting to accept these types of offers right away, you are under no obligation to do so. You can reach out to a Torrance dog bite lawyer and discuss what your compensation might look like, then compare that estimate against their offer. You might find it necessary to negotiate the terms to account for all your injuries and losses.
You can pursue compensation without going to court and via negotiations. If you do not receive a settlement offer, you can reach out to a dog’s owner after your attack occurs with a demand letter. In your demand letter, you can state the evidence you have establishing their liability for your losses. Then, you can elaborate on your losses, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Demand letters allow you to negotiate with a liable party without having to go to court. However, the effectiveness of these letters depends on if the receiving party chooses to respond to them. If they do, though, you can work with a Torrance dog bite lawyer to negotiate terms with your request based on a calculated estimate of what you might receive if you went to court.
Filing a lawsuit allows you to bring information regarding a dog bite attack and your understanding of applicable liability before a judge and jury. In the complaint you file with the court, you can name the liable parties and produce what evidence you, an independent investigator, or a personal injury attorney have gathered. From there, you can also establish your economic and noneconomic losses, as is appropriate, and provide the court with an estimate of what compensation you seek.
In presenting this information, you put the fate of your case on the judge who looks over your complaint. If the judge believes your case meets California’s standards for dog bite cases, you might have the opportunity to fight for compensation. However, to get such an opportunity, you must submit your complaint within California’s two-year statute of limitations set by California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1, or else risk having your case thrown out.
Why Dogs Bite
Dogs do not bite people at random. Often, owners train them into these types of behaviors. Stress can also contribute to a dog’s behavior, resulting in a bite if it feels overstimulated or threatened.
In short, dogs do not bite people unless they feel provoked, or their training dictates that they do so. That is why you have the opportunity to hold a dog’s owner accountable for losses in a dog bite incident—because it is often a dog’s owner who contributes to the animal’s likelihood to bite more so than the dog’s instincts.
For a free legal consultation with a Dog Bites Lawyer serving Torrance, call (800) 794-0444
Dog Breed Won’t Affect Your Claim for Compensation
You cannot hold a person liable for keeping a certain breed of dog after a dog bite attack, even though the myths surrounding certain breeds of dogs might suggest otherwise.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), it is true that certain breeds of dogs tend to bite more frequently than others. However, breeds like pit bulls or Dobermans do not have aggressive behavior baked into their DNA. Instead, owners often teach dogs that aggressive behaviors are appropriate to traumatic stressors. This fact is part of the reason why you can hold a dog’s owner liable for your losses in a dog bite incident.
Of course, you may not request additional compensation based on the breed of the dog involved in your incident. However, you could cite the conditions in which the dog lived or the dog’s treatment at the hands of its owner as a part of the reason you fell victim to an attack.
Torrance Dog Bites Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Help You Recover Compensation
As mentioned, dog bites often result from unintentional interactions with a stressed or poorly trained dog. While a dog’s breed may have nothing to do with its behavior, a dog owner’s behavior might. In these cases, should you suffer personal injury or property damage because of a dog bite, you can take legal action against the parties responsible for that dog’s behavior and care.
A Torrance dog bite lawyer can help you determine what course of action best suits your needs, all while giving you the space you need to recover. If you wish to discuss filing a dog bite lawsuit or taking similar legal action, you can reach the legal team with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm by calling (800) 816-0755.