Riverside Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog Bites, Attacks and Maulings in Riverside, CA
Millions of people are bitten every year by dogs. Most of the bites are minor and can be addressed at home with ointment and bandages. However, some will require emergency medical treatment, resulting in costly medical bills. Riverside dog bite injuries can sometimes be quite devastating, causing serious injury or death to victims, especially children. Injuries can result in loss of work, loss of function, and facial scarring, which can have a lasting emotional impact on the person who was bitten.
Dog bites are becoming so common that some cities have taken measures to outlaw certain breeds of dogs known to be selectively bred for their aggressive behaviors. Though certain breeds are well-known for their aggressive behaviors, dogs of any breed can bite, sometimes resulting in serious, permanent injuries.
Dog Bites in Children
Children are at an especially high risk for severe dog bite injuries. Children are much more likely than adults to suffer dog bite injuries to the face, which can cause severe and permanent scarring. Children are more likely to be at a height where they are interacting at eye-level with a vicious dog, and children are much more likely than adults to try to play with a dog in such a way that unintentionally provokes the animal to attack. Parents are advised to watch their children around dogs at all times, especially if it is unknown how that dog behaves around kids. However, even the most vigilant parents cannot always prevent an attack from happening.
Strict Liability for Dog Owners
In a dog bite lawsuit, the person who owns the dog will be held personally liable. Many personal injury claims are covered by insurance. Private individuals may sometimes be covered for dog bites by their homeowner’s insurance, for example, 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 part of a dog bite lawsuit, the person who was bitten or the person suing on their behalf must demonstrate with evidence that the person sued 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.” If the person bitten was trespassing, the dog owner may have a defense to a dog bite lawsuit.
California is a strict liability state, meaning owners are responsible for their dogs and may be held liable if their dog attacks a person, whether or not the owner knew the dog was aggressive or likely to bite someone. This differs from states where plaintiffs must prove that the owner knew or should have known of the dog’s aggressive tendencies.
Consulting a Lawyer
If you or a loved one suffered a dog bite injury in Riverside, you may wish to contact an attorney to file a claim for money damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can be of great assistance when you are asking a court to compensate you for losses. It is important to consult a lawyer right away so that important evidence is not lost. Also keep in mind that time is of the essence in seeking a legal remedy, 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.
After a dog bite, the losses suffered can be great, and filing a lawsuit may be the only way for victims or their loved ones to pay the bills. A serious dog bite can result in costly medical bills, lost wages, 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 permanent 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, contact us at the law offices of Brent Duque today for more information and a free consultation. We are here to help you get through this.
Contact our Riverside 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.