Have you been bit by a dog in California?
If you have been bit by someone else’s dog and have suffered serious injuries as a result, you are probably concerned about the cost of your medical bills, or time you will lose away from work, or even future surgeries or rehabilitation you might need as a result.
You undoubtedly have many questions and concerns, one of which is “how am I going to pay these bills?” Another question might be “am I the one who is financially responsible for these costs?”
The answer is, you should not be responsible for paying the costs of your treatment and for other financial losses you have suffered as a result. A skilled personal injury attorney can help you get compensation from the dog owner’s insurance policy to help pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and more.
Let me give you some helpful information about how this process works in California.
Dog Bite Claims – An Overview
Dog bites or attacks by a dog constitute approximately one third of all homeowners’ insurance related claims each year in the United States. And though these occurrences are common, laws and legal recourse varies from state to state.
In California, owners may be held wholly liable for any injuries his/her dog may inflict. It does not matter whether or not the offending dog has ever shown an aggressive side or previously acted out by biting—the victim of the incident only need prove a few key factors:
- The attacking dog is owned by the defendant (the person who the claim is made against)
- The dog bite occurred on either public property or on lawfully occupied private property
- The victim of the dog attack was actually bitten and/or injured by the dog in question
This means that if you have suffered from a dog bite or dog attack which required medical treatment or a trip to the emergency room you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the owner of the dog. This will allow you to recover any related damages, such as: associated medical bills, compensation from any work you were unable to perform or complete as a result of your dog bite injury. It can also include emotional trauma and pain and suffering.
Establishing Liability in Dog Bite Cases
Establishing the dog’s owner is an important aspect of establishing who is liable, i.e., who you would pursue a personal injury lawsuit against. There are circumstances, however, in which a dog owner is not liable for a dog bite or dog related injury, including:
- If the individual bitten was trespassing
- If the dog bites its treating veterinarian
- If the dog bites after being provoked; for instance, if the dog’s owner has warned the bite victim to not approach or interact with the dog, and the bite victim persists and provokes the animal
- If the dog bites someone while assisting the police or in a military operation
Otherwise, the owner of the dog has liability for the harm caused to you.
Personal liability coverage, such as homeowners’ insurance or renters’ insurance often covers damages related to a dog bite. However, in some instances the damages exceed insurance coverage, in which case you will be required to file a lawsuit to be fully compensated for your injuries and damages.
What Will Happen To The Dog?
As for the fate of the animal involved in a dog bite claim, the outcome varies depending on the case. Oftentimes, Animal Control exercises influence in how the dog is dealt with following an attack. Sometimes this means the animal must be put down. In other instances, the dog’s owner is simply held liable for damages and related costs.
To pursue a dog bite personal injury claim in California, it’s essential to consult with a personal injury lawyer versed in handling cases of this nature. That’s because there are qualifiers involved when it comes to establishing liability. Likewise, California differs from other states when it comes to dog bites and the law. So it’s important that your personal injury attorney understands the specifics of your case, so that you are awarded the proper compensation for your suffering.
If you need any assistance or would like to learn more, feel free to visit California dog bite attorneys – Kubota & Craig – at https://www.kubotacraig.com/dog-bite-lawyer/, or call us at 949-218-5676 for a free consultation.
Kubota & Craig’s personal injury attorneys are respected, experienced, and peer-referred, due to their unmatched advocacy and litigation skills, as well as their investment in raising the bar of excellence in Southern California’s legal community. Because of the superior verdicts and settlements they have obtained in the past two decades, they are among the most highly regarded personal injury attorneys in Southern California.