North Highlands Dog Bite Lawyer
California has garnered the reputation of being known as the dog bite capital of the United States, according to the Los Angeles Times. This is because our state has the highest percentage of reported dog bite injuries (2,000 reported a dog bite injury claim) and close to $65 million paid out to injured individuals.
Nationwide, the numbers are pretty awful. Approximately 4.7 million people suffer a dog bite injury every year. If that was not bad enough, roughly half of the bite victims are kids between the age of 5 and 9. That means, each year, millions of young kids are attacked and seriously injured by a dog bite. Furthermore, one out of every five dog attacks causes a bite injury so severe that professional medical treatment is needed.
If you or a loved one was attacked and bitten by a dog and suffered a serious injury, take the time to speak to an experienced North Highlands dog bite attorney about your legal options.On Notice - Certain Breeds of Dogs Known to Become Violent
When a dog owner is sued by someone who was bitten, they routinely try to argue that they had no idea their dog was violent. As you’ll discover below, that argument does not hold water in California. But it is especially weak when the dog involved in the attack was of a breed known to have violent tendencies. For example, if you own a pit bull, you should be aware that they are one of the breeds involved in attacks most often. Nevertheless, any dog could potentially attack a person so the breed of dog is not determinative to the viability of your personal injury claim.Dog Owners Strictly Liable For Their Dog’s Behavior
According to California Civil Code section 3342(a), strict liability is applied to dog bite injury cases. This is a legal doctrine establishing that the owner of a dog that attacks and injures another person is automatically liable for those harms and losses. The injured party does not need to prove negligence on the part of the dog owner. This makes it much easier to obtain financial recovery from the dog owner’s insurance company.Dog Bite Injuries Can Be Quite Serious
Some people mistakenly believe that dog bites are not that serious; simply disinfect the wound and you are good to go. Many dog bite injuries are quite serious requiring weeks or months of rehabilitative treatment. For example, the types of injuries suffered as a result of dog bites and dog attacks include:
- Disfigurement (e.g. scarring)
- Facial and body lacerations and abrasions
- Broken bones (e.g., bones in your hand)
- Loss of a limb, or limbs
- Eye damage
- Emotional and psychological trauma
As you can see, dog bites can be serious, potentially debilitating injuries. If you or a loved one suffered broken bones in your hands, multiple open wounds, and abrasions to your legs and knees, you are probably going to require multiple trips to your doctor, including a trip to the emergency room. You might also be forced to miss time from work because of the injuries. For example, if you are a data processed typing on a computer all day, a broken hand can force you to miss a significant amount of time from your job. This means the types of harms and losses that are compensable through a personal injury claim include:
- Medical bills stemming from the dog attack.
- Lost wages due to time missed from work. If you are forced to take time off from your job as a result of your dog bite injuries, the loss of income can be recovered through a personal injury claim. Even if you use vacation time or sick days, you can still recover that lost time. If you are unable to return to your job permanently because of the attack, you can also seek future anticipated wages.
- Pain, Suffering, and Emotional Trauma: These are the intangible harms associated with the dog bite attack. It may include your mental anguish, stress, and inconvenience stemming from the attack. Pain and suffering also include the psychological distress associated with a vicious dog attack. Some victims even develop PTSD and are deathly afraid of dogs as a result.
Some dog attack victims are hesitant to hire a personal injury attorney because they have heard stories about outrageous hourly legal costs and retainer fees. That is not the case when it comes to a dog bite personal injury lawyer. This is because most injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you, the client, are not charged an hourly fee and you do not have a pay a huge retainer fee to obtain the services of an experienced and skilled dog bite injury lawyer. Instead, your lawyer’s fee is contingent upon achieving a financial recovery for you. Once your lawyer secures a settlement or jury verdict, they receive a percentage of the overall legal recovery.
The video below explains why you should hire a lawyer for your dog bite claim.Statutory Deadline for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
You should not delay in speaking with and retaining, an experienced personal injury lawyer to file a legal claim against the responsible dog owner. The victim of a dog bite only has two years from the date of the dog bite injury to file a lawsuit under California’s statute of limitations. If you delay and the two-year window closes, your case will likely be barred from going forward.Discussing your Case with a Lawyer
There is no risk of the financial cost associated with speaking to an experienced North Highlands dog bite attorney like me. I offer free, no-hassle, confidential case reviews to all of my prospective clients. During the case review, we will discuss the facts surrounding the incident and I can assess whether it makes sense to move forward. I use my 30 years of legal experience in personal injury law to determine the viability of your case. The case review is a no-pressure environment so if you do not feel comfortable going forward, that is okay. If you would like to move forward and I think your case has merit, we can get the process started.North Highlands Dog Bite Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a North Highlands dog bite lawyer. If you have been injured in a dog attack, or someone you love was injured or killed in one, please call me today at 916.921.6400 or 800.404.5400 for free, friendly advice.
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Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 11.13.19]