Dog bites can lead to serious personal injury and may require emergency medical care or surgery. Dog bites that involve children, especially, can even result in death. According to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 70% of dog bite fatalities occur in children under the age of 10. Most dog bite injuries in children involve the face, neck, and shoulders; however, even adults can be seriously injured by a dog attack, especially one involving an aggressive breed or a large dog.
If you or a loved one was attacked and bitten by a dog, you may be dealing with a considerable amount of stress. If you are unsure what to do, you can seek the advice of an attorney. The Los Angeles Carey Ranch dog bite lawyer with the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help. Call us at (800) 794-0444.
Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites can lead to a wide range of injuries, including:
- Puncture wounds
- Scratches and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Head trauma from a bite or from falling
Mild dog bites may not result in obvious injuries, but you should still undergo a physical checkup after the dog attack to rule out the possibility that you contracted an illness from the dog that attacked you, especially if your skin was pierced by the bite. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, animal bites can lead to fatal illnesses such as rabies, infections, and other viral illnesses.
You can typically seek compensation for damages and injuries that a dog bite causes, including:
- The costs of care, treatment, and medicines
- Damaged property
- Lost income
To seek compensation, however, you must first determine who was at fault for the dog bite and prove that they were careless or negligent in handling their dog.
Determining Fault for Dog Bites
California state statutes classify dog owners as the responsible party when it comes to dog bites. In some cases–such as attacks involving military or police dogs or dogs that attack trespassers–the victim may not be able to sue the owner of a dog for an attack. In other cases, the owner is liable and can be held responsible for compensating the victim for their injuries. Compensation for dog bites is usually taken from the at-fault party’s home insurance policy.
There are situations in which another party may share some of the blame for a dog bite. If a dog shelter did not inform a dog adopter about prior incidents involving an aggressive dog, or if a dog walker does not take important safety precautions such as using a leash while walking a dog, then these parties may also shoulder some of the blame for any accidents or injuries that result from a dog attack.
In some cases, you may know the dog owner. If you do not, you might have fewer reservations about seeking compensation from them. If you know the owner, you may feel compelled to accept your losses and move on. Keep in mind, however, that you may be faced with medical bills and treatment expenses in the aftermath of the incident.
If you consult about your case with a lawyer, they may be able to put your losses into perspective. The Los Angeles Carey Ranch dog bite lawyer with the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help.
For a free legal consultation with a carey ranch lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Several considerations must be kept in mind when pursuing a dog bite claim.
- The victim must have been legally allowed or had permission to be on the property where the dog bite occurred when it occurred.
- The rule above usually excludes trespassers from seeking awards from dog bites on the property they were on illegally, and it protects guests and visitors to homes and public spaces.
- The victim did not intentionally provoke the dog. Intentional provocation may forfeit a claim for damage on the part of the victim.
- The dog owner took reasonable steps to warn others of a dangerous dog on the premises. This usually applies to public places or private homes where a dog lives.
You may want to consider filing a police report for your dog bite accident. If you visited a doctor for your injuries or a checkup–as we recommend you do–your doctor will likely report the case. The law also requires the dog owner as well as the victim to report bite incidents to the local health officer.
The report compiled by the health officer and a police report–if any–can help if these reports determine that the dog that bit you is, in fact, dangerous.
You should also speak with your health insurance provider to see what kinds of compensation or coverage your health insurance or home insurance policies afford you.
Los Angeles Carey Ranch Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
The Benefits of Legal Assistance
Dog bite cases can be complex. Even for a bite that occurs in a public space such as a park, several overlapping rules may apply to the case. Premises laws and dog handling ordinances for public spaces must be kept in mind, and you must determine ownership of the dog and responsibility for the bite attack if someone else was in charge of or handling the dog when the attack occurred.
Furthermore, you need to quantify the value of your losses and injuries, speak with your local health officer, and potentially deal with insurance providers and law enforcement officials.
If you were injured in a dog attack, handling a case while you recover from your injuries can be difficult. A lawyer can assist you with the many steps outlined above. Contact us today for a free consultation. The Pintas & Mullin Law Firm and our Los Angeles Carey Ranch dog bite lawyer handle dog bite on a no-fee contingency basis. This means you pay nothing upfront, and we only collect if you win your case. Please call us today at (800) 794-0444.