While dogs bring companionship, enjoyment and even protection to so many families, dog bites occur in far greater frequency and severity than most people would believe. Unfortunately, thousands of people being bitten, mauled or attacked by a dog each year across the United States.
Most dog bites are somewhat minor and can be treated at home. However, the more serious dog bites can cause painful and life altering injuries, including permanent disfigurement, scarring, psychological trauma and sometimes death. These injuries will require emergency medical treatment, often resulting in expensive medical bills that can last several years.
A furry dog is often an irresistible lure to children, who tend to be at an increased risk for face bite injuries since they are more likely to be at a height where they are interacting at eye-level and their actions are often startling to a dog.
Especially if it is unknown how a particular dog behaves around kids, parents should always be present and alert when their children are interacting with animals. However, even the most vigilant parents cannot always prevent a sudden attack from happening.
Unlike some states where plaintiffs must prove that the owner knew or should have known of the dog’s aggressive tendencies, California is a strict liability state. This means that owners are responsible for their dogs and may be held liable if their dog attacks a person, whether or not the owner knew that the dog was aggressive or likely to bite someone.
In any lawsuit brought forth due to a dog bite or dog attack, the dog owner may be held personally liable. In some cases, the bite or attack is covered by their homeowner’s insurance, depending on where the bite occurred and what the insurance policy explicitly covers. If the dog is a stray and there is no known owner, a person who was bitten may not have legal recourse.
As the plaintiff in a dog bite lawsuit, the victim or the person suing on their behalf must demonstrate with evidence that the defendant is responsible because they were the owner of the dog at the time the bite occurred. Furthermore, owners are only liable if the person bitten was in a public place or on private property “lawfully”. In the case of trespassing, the dog owner may have a defense to a dog bite lawsuit.
If you or a loved one ever find yourself attacked by a dog or other animal, you will likely have questions about your rights and probability of recovering damages. Contacting a personal injury attorney with experience handling dog/animal bite cases may be your best chance at receiving compensation for your injuries. Keep in mind that time is of the essence when filing a case because the statute of limitations for a dog bite lawsuit in California is 2 years. That means claims filed after this time period will be time-barred and dismissed.
A serious dog bite can result in expensive medical bills, lost wages for an undetermined amount of time, and costs that are more difficult to measure like pain and suffering. Some victims may need facial reconstruction surgery or other plastic surgery as a result of their injuries. Those with permanent injuries may also wish to seek compensation for future lost earnings, if the effects of the dog bite will likely affect their future job prospects.
If you believe you have a case because of a vicious dog attack in Highland, contact our Highland Dog Bite Lawyer today for more information and a free consultation. We are here to help you get through this.
Contact our San Bernardino County Personal Injury Attorney at 1-877-241-9554 to learn more about your legal options. A free consultation is just a phone call away. You can even use our online contact form, and we’ll reply to you quickly.
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