Dog Bites and Owner Liability
Dog bites can leave victims with serious injuries, including puncture wounds, teeth mark wounds, and lacerations – all of which require prompt and sometimes ongoing medical treatment. Dog bites can be especially traumatic for young children, as well as older adults.
If you or a person you love has suffered injuries due to a dangerous dog, you have legal options that are available to you. A knowledgeable OC dog bite lawyer will be able to meet with you, explain your legal options, and help you develop a plan for moving forward with a claim or lawsuit.
First, you may be eligible to file a claim with the dog owner’s insurance company because many homeowner insurance policies make provisions for dog bite injuries. Your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and pursue favorable monetary compensation – not only for your related medical expenses but also for your pain, suffering, and inconvenience. If the insurance company does not award you favorable compensation, your lawyer could file a lawsuit in the state court system and litigate your case to a favorable conclusion.
Common Injuries That Dog Bites Cause
When a dangerous dog bites an unsuspecting person, serious injuries can happen. Some of the most common injuries that result from dog bites include:
- Puncture wounds that pierce the victim’s skin
- Deep lacerations
- Scrapes and abrasions
- Bite or teeth marks on the bite victim’s skin
In many instances, a dog bite victim will need to go to the emergency room and receive other medical treatment for their injuries. If the bite victim suffers a deep enough laceration, they may need stitches – or in the worst-case scenario, surgery or other medical procedure. Stitches and surgeries can leave painful and unsightly scars on the affected parts of an accident victim’s body.
In addition to dog bite wounds, victims may suffer other injuries if the dog knocks them to the ground during the attack. Those other injuries may include soft tissue injuries and broken bones.
If you suffered injuries in a dog attack, you should seek prompt medical treatment as soon as possible at a local hospital emergency room or urgent care center. The medical provider on duty can render prompt emergency treatment and also make recommendations for follow-up treatment that you should pursue post-discharge.
California Dog Bite Laws
When it comes to dog bites in California, the state follows a strict liability standard, meaning that a dog owner may be responsible for their dog’s bite injuries even if the dog never bit anyone before – and even if the dog never showed any vicious or dangerous propensities previously.
Moreover, California law places additional responsibility on dog owners if their dog bites an individual following a previous attack. When a dog owner becomes aware that their dog previously bit someone, they must take reasonable measures to restrain their dog and prevent future attacks.
California dog bite laws do not apply to incidents where a dangerous dog causes injuries other than bite injuries. However, in those circumstances, the attack victim could still file a negligence claim or lawsuit against the dog owner or their insurance company for damages.
Recoverable Damages in Dog Bite Claims and Lawsuits
Victims of serious dog bites often require expensive medical treatment and procedures to recover from their injuries fully. They may also experience significant pain and suffering due to their dog bite injuries.
Common damages that bite victims may recover in a personal injury claim or lawsuit includes compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses. In addition, they could pursue economic recovery for their physical pain and suffering – both past and future. Other potential damages include compensation for their loss of earning capacity, inconvenience, emotional distress, loss of the ability to use an affected body part(s), and loss of life enjoyment stemming from their injuries.
A knowledgeable California dog bite lawyer in your area can determine which of these damages you may be eligible to pursue and recover and will do everything possible to help you maximize your monetary recovery.
Contact an Experienced California Dog Bite Lawyer Today
Vicious and dangerous dogs can cause victims serious injuries and damages. In addition to seeking prompt medical treatment after a dog bite incident, you should contact a knowledgeable California dog bite attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can explain your legal options to you in clear and easy-to-understand terms and will do everything possible to help you maximize the damages you recover in your case.