The dog bite injury claims process is not simple. You may need an injury lawyer experienced in dog bite claims to assist you, especially if you suffered serious injuries. An insurance company may intentionally mishandle your claim to save money on your payout. An attorney can help you in many ways during a dog bite injury claim, including:
• Answering your legal questions
• Investigating your dog bite incident
• Identifying who is at fault
• Helping you prove liability
• Filing an insurance claim on your behalf
• Negotiating with an insurance claims adjuster
• Taking your case to trial, if necessary
One of our dog bite attorneys can make sure that you have everything you need throughout the claims process, including medical care by top doctors and answers to your legal questions. You can rest, relax, and focus on your future while a lawyer handles the legal elements of your claim for you.
If you suffer a dog bite injury, take the following steps to protect yourself physically and financially:
1. Try to remain calm and get to a safe place.
2. Exchange information with the pet owner.
3. Write down the names and phone numbers of anyone who witnessed the attack.
4. Call animal control in to report the dog bite.
5. Get immediate medical care for your injuries.
6. Write down what happened for your own records while it is still fresh in your mind.
7. Document the losses associated with the attack, including your medical bills.
8. Call the pet owner’s insurance company to file a claim.
9. Do not give the insurance company a recorded statement.
10. Talk to a dog bite attorney about your legal rights before accepting a settlement from an insurance company.
Taking the correct first steps after a dog attack can help you avoid infections and hold the pet owner accountable for your losses.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Dog Bites in California?
As a dog bite injury victim, it is important to obey California’s statute of limitations when bringing a lawsuit. This is a law that places a deadline on your right to file. In general, you must bring a dog bite lawsuit within two years of the date of the attack. If the dog bite victim was under the age of 18, they may have until their 20th birthday to file, even if this is longer than 2 years after the attack.
With only some exceptions, the courts in California will refuse to hear an injury claim that is filed after the expiration of the statute of limitations. This is why it is important to consult with a dog bite lawyer in as soon as possible after the event. An attorney can quickly go to work on your case to make sure that your lawsuit is filed before the deadline.
At Nordanyan Law, we know that money does not solve everything for victims with serious injuries from dog attacks. However, securing fair and full financial compensation can go a long way toward improving your peace of mind. It can allow you to pay for your necessary medical care, including reconstructive surgery and psychological therapy, as well as make up for other losses, such as lost earnings. You may be eligible for compensation for the following damages, and more:
• Medical bills (present and future)
• Missed wages and income-earning opportunities
• Property damage repairs
• Physical pain and suffering
• Emotional distress and psychological anguish
• Permanent scarring, disfigurement, or disability
• Lost quality or enjoyment of life
• Loss of consortium
• Death benefits
• Punitive damages
The value of your dog bite claim will depend on circumstances that are unique to your case. The severity of your injuries, for example, can impact how much you will receive from the defendant’s insurance company. The best way to determine the value of your claim is by consulting with an experienced dog bite attorney lawyer. An attorney can give you an accurate idea of how much your case is worth before you negotiate with an insurance provider.
In most cases, the owner of the dog is liable for injuries, deaths, or property damage caused by the dog. If someone else was controlling or keeping the dog, however, such as a dog walker or family member, that individual may be liable instead. California’s definition of a dog “owner” can mean someone who is keeping or harboring the animal. If someone other than the owner was exercising care, control, or custody over the dog at the time of the attack, that party may be liable for injuries.
In a case involving a dog that is owned by a child under the age of 18, his or her parents will be vicariously liable. In this case, it would be the parents’ responsibility to pay for the injured victim’s bills. Finally, a landlord in California could be liable for dog bites if he or she knew that a tenant was keeping a dangerous dog but did not do anything to prevent foreseeable attacks. If you have questions regarding liability, speak with a skilled dog bite lawyer. He or she will be able to help you determine liability after discussing the specifics of your case.
A dog may decide to bite someone for many different reasons. Even a household pet that has never shown signs of viciousness may snap unexpectedly under the wrong circumstances. Often, a dog will bite in response to an environmental factor, such as feeling scared or threatened. In other cases, a dog will bite to protect its owner or territory. In California, it is a pet owner’s responsibility to prevent foreseeable dog attacks by always maintaining adequate control of the pet.
Some of the most common reasons dog attacks occur in are:
• A pet owner breaking California’s leash laws
• A dog running at large
• A pet owner failing to control a dangerous animal
• Someone trespassing on private property
• Someone trying to pet an unfamiliar dog
• Harming or provoking a dog
• Someone disrupting a dog while it is eating or nursing
Do your best to prevent a dog bite injury by never petting or reaching out to a stray or unfamiliar dog. If you know that a friend or relative has a dog, make sure the owner is home or the dog is safely put away before stopping by. If you think you’re about to be attacked, keep your distance, remain still (don’t run) and do not make any loud noises. Stand slightly sideways and avoid direct eye contact with the dog. Try to remain calm and assertive to create an energy barrier between you and the dog. You may be able to deescalate the situation and avoid an attack.
Dog attacks can be catastrophic, meaning they cause injuries that will impact the victim for life. When some dogs attack, they do not let go. Their teeth, jaws, and claws can cause significant injuries, such as:
• Broken bones
• Injured muscles and ligaments
• Cuts, scrapes, and deeper lacerations
• Puncture wounds
• Facial injuries
• Eye injuries
• Nerve damage
• Permanent scarring and disfigurement
• Infections or diseases
• Wrongful death
A dog attack can also cause emotional injuries, such as distress, anguish, a phobia of dogs and post-traumatic stress disorder.
A dog attack can be a physically and emotionally scarring event. At Nordanyan Law, we can help you pursue closure, justice and fair financial compensation from the pet owner or another party after a dog bite injury. We will use the full power of our resources to prove your case and help you get through this difficult time. Start with a free, zero-obligation consultation.
We will help you get the justice and compensation you deserve for a wide-range of Personal Injury cases: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Premise Liability, Slip and Falls, Dog Bites/Animal Attacks, Catastrophic Injury Accidents, Wrongful Death Accidents, and more.