Los Angeles Dog Bite Attorney
A Los Angeles dog bite attorney can help you navigate California’s extremely strict dog bite laws. Contrary to many other states, California does not excuse dog owners who are unaware their animal is dangerous. The dog’s owner is generally liable for injuries caused by a dog bite.
Whether or not a California pet owner knew their dog was dangerous is irrelevant from a legal standpoint. The dog’s owner is almost always liable for the victim’s injuries as long as the victim of a dog bite injury was in a public place or lawfully in a private space.
If a dog has injured you or a loved one, contact Abogado Maximo immediately. Finding an experienced Los Angeles dog bite attorney can make or break your case. Do not hesitate to contact our LA law firm today!
Why do I need a Los Angeles Dog Bite Lawyer in California?
A dog bite attorney in Los Angeles can assist a dog bite victim in pursuing justice and fighting for their legal right to receive adequate compensation for their losses. Every dog bite injury case is unique, so an attorney’s assistance to a dog bite victim will depend on the specifics of their case.
Abogado Maximo is an experienced dog bite law firm in Los Angeles. Our clients can rely on our dependable legal representation, more than 20 years of personal injury experience, and unparalleled results. We will strive to ensure you receive the best outcome possible for your dog bite case. And here are just a few things we can help you with.
- Investigate the incident
- Gather important records, including medical and police records, if applicable
- Establish a strong insurance dog bite claim
- Negotiate with insurance companies to achieve a fair settlement
- File a dog bite lawsuit if settlement is not feasible
- Represent you in court proceedings
- Ensure to collect your settlement our court judgment
Having a lawyer represent you in a personal injury case can significantly improve the outcome. Get in touch with us for more information about how we can help you navigate your case!
What is a Dog Bite?
The incident is called a dog bite, when a dog bites a person or another animal. The most frequently asked question about dog bites is, “Can I sue if a dog bites me?” The short answer is, “YES, you can sue!” But you have to consider a few factors. A dog bite personal injury claim will primarily rely on
- Who is the dog’s owner?
- Where did the attack occur?
- What kind of injuries were sustained?
A dog bite can result in extremely painful injuries that necessitate costly medical treatment and leave you permanently scarred or disfigured. You may also experience psychological trauma and develop a fear of dogs due to the attack. If you reach out to our Los Angeles dog bite attorney, we can help you obtain a fair compensation claim for your injuries and losses.
What Counts as a “Bite” Under California Dog Bite Law?
When you imagine a dog bite, you may imagine teeth crunching into flesh, cartilage, and even bone. If a dog grabs a person with its teeth without breaking the skin, is it still considered a dog bite?
YES. A dog bite does not have to break skin for a victim to file a personal injury claim.
California Dog Bite Law
California Civil Code Section 3342 states that “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”
California law enforces a strict liability which holds dog owners liable for their dog’s bite. However, there are some situations in which an owner is not liable. Examples of these situations include
- Bites from dogs that were performing military or police work at the time the injury victim was bitten
- Dog bite victims trespassing on private property
- The victim deliberately provoked the dog
- The dog was acting in self-defense to protect its owner or another individual
It’s also worth noting that California dog bite law only applies to dog bites, not dog attacks or accidents that don’t involve a dog bite. If you want to understand how California dog bite laws apply to your case, contact a Los Angeles dog bite lawyer immediately.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bite injuries can range from a minor scratch to something far more serious or fatal, such as an infection or artery damage. Because a dog’s mouth contains over 400 different types of bacteria, even minor dog bites should be treated medically to avoid infection.
The following are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
- Rabies – the most serious infection that can result from a dog bite. Most pet owners keep their dogs’ rabies vaccinations current, but not everyone does. If a dog’s rabies shots are out of date or you’re unsure, seek emergency medical attention.
- Infections – bacteria in the dog’s mouth cause most infections caused by dog bites, but germs can also cause them on the skin or elsewhere at the time of the dog attack or later when the wound is still fresh.
- Tetanus – while tetanus is not as common as rabies, it can occur due to a dog bite. This is usually not due to bacteria in the dog’s mouth but rather to something on the victim’s skin or surrounding area.
- Crushing Injuries – large dogs have incredibly strong jaws that can crush bones, tissue, and organs. Dogs have the strength to crush an infant or small child’s skull.
- Punctures – occurs when one or more of the dog’s teeth pierces the skin. While not as severe as lacerations, they can be just as deep and have serious consequences.
- Lacerations – deep wounds or tears in the skin. These affect muscles, blood vessels, and other tissue in addition to the skin.
- Abrasions – cut or scratch that does not penetrate the skin. These injuries are unlikely to cause much bleeding, but they can still result in scarring or infection if not treated properly.
- Avulsion – the tearing or ripping of flesh. If a dog bites and tears its head off, it may rip away skin and other tissue, causing severe damage and necessitating reconstructive surgery.
Who is Responsible for a Los Angeles Dog Bite Injury?
In most cases, the dog’s owner is held responsible for any injuries, deaths, or property damage caused by the dog. However, if someone else was controlling or keeping the dog, such as a dog walker or family member, that person may be held liable instead. According to California law, a dog’s “owner” can be anyone who keeps or harbors the animal. If someone other than the owner had care, control, or custody of the dog at the time of the attack, that person could be held liable for injuries.
If the dog owner happens to be a child under 18, their parents will be held legally liable for paying the injured victim’s bills. A landlord might be liable for dog bites if they knew a tenant had a dangerous dog but did nothing to prevent foreseeable attacks.
If you have any questions about premises liability, consult and seek legal advice with a Los Angeles dog bite accident lawyer.
Dog Bite Accident Claim Time Limit
A victim of a personal injury, such as a dog bite, has limited time to file a dog bite lawsuit for compensation for their injuries. California has a two-year statute of limitations for dog bites. So, if a dog in Los Angeles has bitten you, you have two years from the date of the bite to file a claim or a case.
If you fear missing the due date for filing a dog bite personal injury claim, you can immediately seek legal advice from a Los Angeles dog bite attorney.
Damages Available in Los Angeles Dog Bite Accidents
The specific damages that a dog bite victim sustains due to their injury will determine the amount of compensation that may be awarded. A person who is bitten by a dog may be eligible for various types of compensatory damages, including payment for things like the following:
- Past and future medical bills
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Reconstructive surgery
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and emotional suffering
- Loss of limbs
- Property loss
In rare instances, a dog bite victim may be able to recover punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. Punitive damages are monetary damages designed to punish a defendant for particularly malicious or heinous conduct. Only a judge is permitted to award punitive damages. To recover punitive damages, a dog bite victim must demonstrate that the defendant disregarded their rights or safety willfully and deliberately.
If a dog bite results in a fatality, the victim’s family may be able to recover damages on their behalf. This type of dog bite case falls under California’s wrongful death statute, so the deceased’s family could file a wrongful death claim.
What Should I Do if a Dog bit me?
If a dog has bitten you or someone close to you, your priority should be the health and safety of the person who was bitten. Following a dog bite, there are a few steps you should take.
- Try to remain calm and move to a secure location.
- Share information with the owner of the pet.
- Get the names and telephone numbers of any witnesses to the attack.
- Call Los Angeles’s animal control to report the dog bite.
- Get medical attention immediately for your injuries.
- While the events are still fresh in your mind, document them for your own records.
- Include your medical bills in your list of losses resulting from the attack.
- Call the pet owner’s insurance company to file a dog bite claim.
- Do not provide the insurance company with an audio recording.
- Consult a Los Angeles dog bite attorney about your legal rights before accepting an insurance settlement.
Call our Los Angeles Dog Bite Attorney Now!
If you were recently bitten by an aggressive dog in Los Angeles and the bite punctured your skin to the point where you needed medical attention, you have the legal right to seek financial restitution for your injuries. Having a dog is a responsibility. The person who owns the dog is the one who should be responsible for making sure that everyone stays safe.
Our Los Angeles dog bite attorneys at Abogado Maximo are driven by a strong desire to assist those injured in their pursuit of justice and financial compensation from pet owners and other responsible parties.
We will do everything to help you get your life back on track after a dog attack in Los Angeles. Speak to us now!