Riverside County Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog Bites, Attacks and Maulings in Riverside County, CA
While dogs offer companionship, joy and even protection to many families, dog bites occur in far greater frequency and severity than most people would like to believe. Unfortunately, thousands of people have been bitten, mauled or attacked by a dog each year across the United States.
Most dog bites are relatively minor and can be treated at home. However, more vicious dog bites can cause agonizing and life-altering injuries, including permanent scarring, disfigurement, psychological trauma and even death. These injuries will require emergency medical treatment, often resulting in costly medical bills that can last several years.
Dog Bites in Children
A furry animal 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 children, 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.
Strict Liability for Dog Owners
Unlike many states where plaintiffs must prove that the owner knew or should have known of the dog’s aggressiveness, 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 prove, with evidence, that the defendant is liable because they were the owner of the dog at the time of the bite. Additionally, 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. An experienced attorney can help you determine whether or not you have a legitimate case.
Consulting a Lawyer
If you or a loved one ever find yourself bitten or attacked by a dog or other animal, you will likely have many 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 costly 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 Riverside County, contact our Riverside County Dog Bite Lawyer today for more information and a free consultation. We are here to help you get through this.