Dog attacks can be painful, require expensive medical care and leave victims permanently scarred or disfigured. At Point Law Group, Our Los Angeles dog bite attorney is passionate about seeking justice for dog bite victims stand by to help them win victims’ financial compensation from pet owners and other responsible parties. Call us and we can help you get your life back after a dog attack.
How can a Los Angeles Dog Bite Attorney Help?
The process of reporting a dog bite is not easy. You may need a Los Angeles dog bite attorney to help you, especially if you have been seriously injured. Insurance companies may intentionally mishandle a claim to save money. Thankfully, an attorney can help you with a dog bite lawsuit in a number of ways, including:
- Answering legal questions
- Investigating the dog bite incident
- Identifying the party at fault
- Prove liability
- Filing an insurance claim
- Taking the case to trial
A Los Angeles dog bite attorney will make sure you have everything you need during the application process, including medical care from the best doctors and answers to your legal questions. You deserve to rest, relax and focus on your future while an attorney handles the legal aspects of your claim.
California Dog Bite Laws
According to state law and the details of your case, you may be able to hold the dog’s owner responsible. Despite negligence or reason to suspect the dog could bite a person, some states have strict liability laws that hold the dog’s owner or handler responsible for injuries and property damage.
California has a strict dog bite liability law, and pet owners can be held liable even if there is no evidence of negligence. In fact, California Civil Code Section 3342 states that a dog owner is liable for damages to a victim who is lawfully bitten by a dog on private property or in a public place, regardless of whether the dog was previously vicious or the owner knew of such viciousness.
Who is Responsible for the Dog Bite?
Dog owners usually are responsible for injuries, deaths, and property damage caused by their dogs, although other parties, such as a dog walker or family member, may also be liable. A “dog owner” in California is someone who keeps or transports an animal. Meaning, if a dog is cared for, held or possessed by another person, that person is responsible for its injuries.
A parent is responsible for paying the injured victim’s bill for injuries resulting from a dog owned by a child under the age of 18. Further, a California landlord may be held liable for dog bites if they do nothing to prevent a foreseeable attack by a tenant with a dangerous dog.
Who Pays for Dog Bites?
Dog bites that occur on the home’s property are usually covered by the homeowner’s insurance company. Since pets are technically property, homeowner’s insurance policies usually cover the damage caused by dog bites.
When a dog bites a pet, the owner’s car insurance will cover it. There are insurance companies that sell policies specifically covering dog bites. If a pet owner purchases one of these policies, the insurance may cover the bite’s cost. If the pet owner does not have insurance, he is responsible for the bite.
Dog bite victims in California may not be compensated for monetary damages due to trespass to private property. Dog bite victims are entitled to monetary damages if they were trespassing when the assault occurred. Another common defense is to claim that the victim is partially responsible, such as by provoking the dog. In California, partial fault reduces the victim’s financial loss to the same extent.
What to Do If You’ve Been Bitten
If you have been bitten by a dog in Los Angeles, take the following steps to protect yourself physically and financially:
- Try to stay calm and go to a safe place.
- Exchange contact information with pet owners.
- Write down the names and phone numbers of anyone who witnessed the attack.
- Call Los Angeles animal control to report a dog bite.
- See a doctor as soon as possible
- While your memory is still fresh, write down what happened
- Document the damage associated with the attack, including your medical expenses.
- Call the pet owner’s insurance company and file a claim.
- Do not give the registration statement to the insurance company.
- Before you accept a settlement from your insurance company, discuss your legal rights with a dog bite attorney in Los Angeles.
Taking the first steps after a Los Angeles dog attack can help prevent infection and hold pet owners accountable for the loss.
What is California’s Statute of Limitations for Dog Bites?
As a dog bite victim, following the California statute of limitations is essential when filing a lawsuit. You shouldn’t wait longer than two years to file a claim. If the dog bite victim is under 18, you may apply by your 20th birthday, even if it’s been longer than two years since the attack.
With a few exceptions, California courts refuse to hear injury claims filed after the statute of limitations has expired. That’s why it’s essential to consult with a dog bite attorney in Los Angeles immediately after the incident. The best dog bite lawyer will work on your case quickly to ensure your claim gets filed on time.
How Much Can You Win from A Dog Bite Lawsuit?
At Point Law Group, we know that money is not everything for victims of serious injuries sustained due to being bit. However, fair and appropriate financial compensation can significantly improve your peace of mind. Financial compensation allows you to pay for necessary medical expenses, including reconstructive surgery and psychotherapy, and cover other losses, such as loss of income.
The value of a dog bite claim depends on the unique circumstances of the case it depends. For example, the severity of the injury may affect the number of payments received from the defendant’s insurance company. The best way to determine the value of your claim is to consult with the best dog bite lawyer in Los Angeles. An attorney can give you an idea of exactly how much your case is worth before you negotiate with an insurance company.
Our goal at Point Law Group is to help you obtain closure, justice, and fair compensation after a dog bite from the pet owner or other party. Get started with a free, no-obligation consultation and we’ll document your case to the best of our ability.