Experienced California Dog Bite Attorneys
If you are the victim of a dog bite, we have professional dog bite personal injury attorneys who can assist you. Dog bites can happen to anyone when the owners become negligent, or if the dog is lost they can cause some serious dog bite injury. Our dog bite lawyers can help guide you throughout the process and make sure you receive the proper medical treatment. As the victim you also have the legal right to receive any monetary compensation for the damages. The dog bite attorney will help guide you through the entire process.
On every dog bite case it begins with the local animal shelters and local county health departments to investigate and see if there are any prior records involved with that dog or owner. We will obtain any license or vaccination history to see what kind of situation the dog has been in. We will look for dog owners to have inconsistencies of how they believe their dogs behave.
At the The Ledger Law Firm we have experience whether you’re are a dog bite victim, or the owner of a dog that has injured someone. You can also tell your attorney that you are worried that they will try and put your dog down. As long as you tell the attorney this is not a possible option, then the attorney will remember that that solution is not an option.
Experienced licensed attorneys who will fight for you in these dog bite matters. We will help guide you through the process to make sure you are protected or compensated correctly.
Understanding Dog Owner Liability in California
California has strict liability dog bite laws that help protect the rights of victims of these attacks.
Under California dog bite laws laid out in California Civil Code section 3342, the owner of a pet may be responsible for any attack that occurs under the following circumstances:
- The defendant was the owner of the animal
- The attack occurred on a property on which the victim had the legal right to be present at the time of the attack
- The victim did not provoke the dog
If these conditions can be met, the victim can go ahead and file a dog bite claim against the owner of the dog. Strict liability means that the owner of the animal can be held liable even if it was the very first attack involving the dog, or if the owner was unaware of the animal’s vicious tendencies.
In other words, the owner’s lack of knowledge about the canine’s viciousness or propensity to attack cannot be used as a defense in a civil claim for damages based on the bite. Moreover, the owner can be held liable even if it was the canine’s very first bite. The injured person also does not need to provide evidence that the owner did not use reasonable care to prevent the attack.
However, victims who have suffered injuries in a dog bite must take care to file a claim before the time limit to file a claim runs out. In Illinois, the statute of limitations to file a claim is two years from the date of the attack. The statute of limitations is calculated from the date that the canine attack took place.
To understand more about your rights to a personal injury claim under Illinois’ dog bite laws, call a California dog bite lawyer at our firm. The Ledger Law Firm is dedicated to the representation of persons who have suffered injuries in bites.
What Should You Do After a Dog Bite?
It is important for you to know what steps you should take after a being bit by a dog in California.
Establish canine ownership to establish who is liable.
First, get medical care for your injuries. Remember, the kind of injuries that result from an attack can be horrific, and can include puncture wounds, soft tissue injuries, and even fractures or crushing injuries. You may require stitches or even surgery.
Report the Bite
Report the incident to police and animal control immediately. When filing the report, provide a description of the animal as well as the incident.
Take pictures of your injuries. Remember, these injuries constitute a very important piece of evidence when you file a claim against the owner. Also take pictures of the site where the accident occurred. In personal injury cases that involve animal attacks, proof of physical injuries can prove very potent in court.
Speak to Witnesses
If there were witnesses who saw the attack, speak to them and get their contact information. Your dog bite lawyer in California will find witness testimony very valuable when it comes to recovering compensation for you.
Do not speak about the attack to the insurance company, or to any representatives of the owner of the dog. Speak to an dog bite lawyer in order to learn more about how you can protect your rights to legal compensation after an attack.
Call an Attorney
Call an experienced attorney, and discuss your legal options for compensation after any canine attack. The California dog bite attorneys at The Ledger Law Firm are dedicated to the representation of persons injured. At The Ledger Law Firm you will find down-to-earth, levelheaded, hard working men and women who will fight for your dog bite injury law needs.
What Kind of Compensation Can Be Recovered after a Dog Bite?
If you were involved in a dog bite anywhere in California, you may be eligible for compensation that covers all of your losses. This compensation can include the following:
These losses must take into account all of the medical expenses incurred as a result of injury, including surgeries, medications, doctor fees, hospitalizations and other expenses.
Future Medical Damages
A severe attack can result in severe injuries, requiring facial reconstruction surgeries. In most cases multiple surgeries may be involved, and this means additional financial expenses in the future. Your lawyer must include these additional financial expenses in your claim.
Loss of Earnings
These damages will help you recover the lost income that you suffered as a result of days lost from work after the attack. Remember, dog bites are severe injuries, and you may be off work for weeks or even months.
Future Diminished Earnings
A severe canine attack can result in debilitating or disfiguring injuries that can restrict a person’s ability to earn at the same level as before the injury. For instance, a person in the marketing, advertising, public relations, or retail sectors may find that a disfigured face no longer makes him eligible to work in a high-paying job. These losses must be included in your claim.
Pain and Suffering
The physical injuries after a dog bite may lighten, but the emotional scars may never completely heal. An attack may last a few seconds, but the mental and emotional trauma caused as a result of the bite may cause long-term trauma and anxiety. Some victims may suffer depression and anxiety, while other victims may report post-traumatic stress disorder. Your claim must include these losses as well.
To understand what types of compensation you may be eligible for after a bite, speak to a lawyer at our firm. The experienced California dog bite attorneys at The Ledger Law Firm are dedicated to the representation of victims in California.