Dogs are some of the most loving and loved members of many communities. They are most often friendly, energetic, and lovable.
So, it is no wonder that everyone wants to pet them. Sadly, however, some dogs aren’t always well behaved and can bite strangers that they don’t trust.
A dog bite is not only painful, but it can also become a lasting injury, requiring reconstructive and scar revision surgery. This in turn may require you to take a considerable amount of time off from work.
In addition, psychological counseling may also be needed to cope with post-traumatic stress following a dog bite. What’s more, the medical costs associated with treating a dog bite are often much higher than one would expect.
The bottom line is that the costs associated with a dog bite can add up quickly. So, whenever you have been bitten, even if it’s by your neighbor’s family pet, you deserve to be compensated.
For help with a dog bite claim in California, call EAccidents to schedule a consultation with an experienced California dog bite lawyer. We hold dog owners and other negligent parties accountable in dog and animal bite cases and will fight to get you and your family the maximum compensation for your case.
California Dog Bite Law
In California, a dog owner is strictly liable for injuries and losses suffered by anyone who has been bitten or attacked by their dog while in a public place or lawfully on public property. This includes bites that occur on the dog owner’s property, regardless of negligence.
However, exceptions to this strict liability rule exist for cases in which the victim was trespassing when the bite or attack occurred. So, if there was a “no trespassing” sign or a sign warning you to stay off the property, and you ignored it, your claim will be weakened. Similarly, if you were burglarizing someone’s home when you were bitten, it is unlikely that you will recover any compensation for your injuries.
Exceptions also exist for dog bite cases where the dog was being provoked, teased, or abused. Provoking, annoying, or harming an animal is not acceptable behavior and California law recognizes this, except if the victim is very young and, as such, lacks the requisite intent.
What to do After Being Bitten By a Dog in California
The process for filing a dog bite claim is essentially the same as for filing a claim for other types of personal injuries, like car accident claims and slip fall injury claims. It starts with taking action and gathering evidence to support your claim
Here’s what to do after being bitten by a dog in California:
- Contact EAccidents so together we can assess your injuries. If the bite is serious, we will assist you in seeking medical attention as soon as possible.
- Obtain the contact information of the dog owner or the person taking care of the dog.
- Try to take note of the appearance of the dog and dog owner to identify them later on.
- Obtain contact information from anyone who witnessed the attack.
- Take photos of your injury. It’s important to be able to show what happened to you as clearly as possible
- Call 911. The police will make a report of what happened, including who was involved and where the attack took place. Also, report the injury to animal control to prevent others from being bitten in the same way.
- Refrain from talking to insurance companies. If you were contacted by the dog owner’s insurance company, do not answer any questions without first speaking to EAccidents. Simply take down the name of the insurance company, the claim number, and contact information and share this information with your attorney.
- Contacting EAccidents at the very start of this process will greatly improve the quality of care you get both medically and financially. Our attorneys have significant experience handling dog bite cases. An experienced attorney can assist you in exploring your legal options, gathering important evidence, and achieving the best outcome for your case.
Why Hire a Lawyer For Your Dog Bite Claim?
If you have suffered any significant injury as a result of a dog bite, you should consult with an attorney. A significant injury is any injury where there is bloodshed, broken bones, or soft tissue injuries, like torn or strained muscles and ligaments.
Significant injuries require medical treatment. The assistance of an attorney will give you a much better chance of being compensated fully and fairly for the cost of this treatment.
If the dog owner has homeowners or renters insurance, the odds of recovering compensation are vastly in your favor. This is because most homeowners and renters insurance policies cover dog bites and other dog-related injuries.
However, what you need to be concerned about is:
- Whether the insurance policy contains an exclusion based on the dog’s breed. Some policies will exclude coverage for aggressive dog breeds, like Pitbulls and Rottweilers.
- Some homeowners and renters insurance policies have surprisingly low coverage limits for dog bites. So, while there may not be an exclusion for that breed of dog, there may be a limitation on the amount of money available to compensate a dog bite victim.
If the dog owner doesn’t have any insurance at all, there may still be avenues to recover compensation. For instance, there may have been another liable defendant involved.
You may be able to bring a case against someone, such as the landlord, the store owner, or the restaurant where the bite took place.
Likewise, you may be able to sue the person who was handling the dog at the time of the attack, the local animal control agency, or the local city government for negligence.
But, only a knowledgeable dog bite attorney, like those at EAccidents, will be able to identify the various parties with whom liability for your dog bite injury might lay.
Contact a Knowledgeable and Reputable California Dog Bite Attorney
If you or a loved one was bitten by a dog in California, we can help you recover compensation. We have the knowledge, the experience, and the desire to seek justice on your behalf. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation with an experienced California dog bite lawyer.