Were You Injured by A Vicious Dog Attack? Contact Us to Build Your Case!
In 2019, more than 4 million dog bites were reported in the U.S., with 800,000 people needing medical treatment according to the CDC. This means nearly 1 out of 73 people are victim to dog bites or related injuries. In California, dog owners are legally responsible for their furry companions for injuries caused to a person or another animal.
As experienced dog bite lawyers in LA we understand there are two sides to every story. If you fell victim to an attack, you should retain legal counsel to review how much your case is worth. Doing so will help you file a personal injury lawsuit down the road. In this article, we review how to determine liability, and what to consider before you take legal actions.
When Should A Dog Bite Injury Claim Be Filed?
An injury claim against negligent owners can be filed once an attorney reviews and confirms that you have a winnable case. Even if the accident was not life threatening you might have a chance. Los Angeles has strict laws on dog ownership, including leash use and providing an adequate warning regarding potentially dangerous dogs. Unfortunately, not everyone who owns a pet adheres to them.
According to the National Canine Research Council, 81% of dog bites result in minimal or no injuries at all. Whereas the remaining 19% often result in broken arms, hips, wrists, or in severe cases, wrongful death. Determining liability requires careful legal analysis from a Los Angeles attorney for vicious dog attacks. During a consultation, they will ask you to recount what took place, considering how badly you were hurt.
Why Do Dogs Bite?
A dog bite can be traumatic for the victim, regardless of age. For those who are more vulnerable to injuries, like children and the elderly, an attack can also leave an emotional scar. Although there is direct evidence that the dog engaged in questionable behavior, sometimes there can be underlying reasons as to why it attacked in the first place. A dog may strike for the following reasons:
- Reacting to stressful environments and situations.
- They may feel scared or threatened at a particular moment.
- Acting to protect puppies or the owner.
- Feeling unwell or startled.
- Rough play, resulting from too much excitement.
- Seeing another dog in the surrounding area.
Since dogs’ act on impulse, learning how to identify a potential bite situation will help you avoid a dangerous situation. Dog breeds also have a contributing role. The following are known to bite the most:
- Pit Bull
- German Shepherd
- Australian Shepherd
- Bull Terrier
Whether the breed is known as potentially dangerous, or vicious the behavior exhibited will be a vital component in your claim. Proper classification carries weight when it comes to determining the defendant’s responsibility. For all physical and emotional injuries, retain a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer from Gutierrez Law. We understand dog bite laws in California and can help you reach a settlement for damages caused.
California Dog Bite Law
Every state has a different approach to handling dog bite accidents. California Civil Code 3342 states the owner is liable for any damages on public or private properties whether he/she knew of the dog’s violent tendencies. Legally, an “owner” is identified as anyone who is minding the dog at the time of an attack. The only time a bitten victim cannot file a claim is if the dog was performing for the police or military. Other states may follow the “one bite” rule, which is based solely based on two conditions:
- If the owner knew their dog was dangerous,
- and if the owner took precautionary measures, based on what they know.
This civil code does not pertain to getting knocked down or experiencing property damage. For example, mail couriers who are often attacked by dogs may be able to reach a settlement if an unleashed dog knocked them down resulting in a broken arm. It isn’t a direct bite, but with the right personal injury lawyer in LA, they can prove that this occurred because the owner was negligent.
Is Filing a Claim Worth It?
Filing a claim is completely up to you. If you sustained a puncture wound that needed emergency medical treatment, pursuing a legal case may be worth your time, and effort compared to a small abrasion. In California, the statute of limitations to act for personal injuries is two years after the initial bite. Whether you act immediately, or after you have taken personal time to heal, be mindful of the deadline. If you fail to reach a settlement within the designated time, you won’t have an opportunity again.
About the Law Offices of Oscar H Gutierrez
Our law firm specializes in helping those who were injured due to an accident or someone else’s negligence. Navigating the insurance agencies and legal framework for compensation can be difficult, especially if English is not your first language. That’s why you should call the bilingual lawyers of The Law Offices of Oscar H Gutierrez to make sure you are compensated for your pain and suffering.
When you meet with one of our English-speaking and Spanish-speaking personal injury attorneys, you can tell them how your accident occurred and who might be responsible. Your attorneys will then launch an investigation into your accident and the events surrounding it to find who is responsible. If someone was negligent and their lack of care led to your injury, then they will build a case to make sure they pay your medical bills. You should contact our law firm if you were injured in a:
- Car accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Bike accident
- Rideshare accident
- Pool accident
- Workplace accident
We can also help you with product liability and premises liability suits. Don’t leave your medical bills and property damage to chance; instead, hire a law firm that can win you the maximum settlement. Contact our office for a free consultation at 323-999-3500 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.