Dogs and other domesticated animals provide humans with many benefits–unconditional love, companionship, comfort, support, and fun. After all, dogs have been referred to as man’s best friend, and in most cases this is true. However, dogs, regardless of whether they are poorly trained or well-behaved, are all capable of giving into their basic instincts by attacking or biting a person. In some instances, the dog is provoked, and other times it is not.
There is no way to predict if an animal will lash out and injure you, but if you or someone close to you is injured following an attack, you may end up requiring the services of a dog bite attorney in Los Angeles.
Here at the Dolan Law Firm, we know how to handle dog bite cases, as they are unfortunately quite common in the United States and the State of California. In 2019, California reported the most dog bite attacks in the country. A total number of 2,396 attacks occurred and these dog bite statistics are startling.
If you have recently experienced a dog bite attack, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone or email to schedule a free case consultation. We are ready and available to listen to you.
Who is Responsible for a Dog Bite Attack?fd
When determining liability following a dog bite attack, the dog owner may be held responsible–or strictly liable–as the dog in question belongs to them and they are answerable for the animal’s behavior and actions in most situations. Strict liability means they are responsible for any injuries or damages inflicted by their pet.
Under California law, anyone bitten by a dog in a public area or while occupying a private place or lawfully on private property by invitation (that of the dog’s owner), is protected. Regardless if a dog has an aggressive past or has previously exhibited dangerous behavior, the injured party will be covered by the laws in place to protect them because California is a strict liability state.
Sometimes, the owner of the property where the animal attack occurred, as well as the dog’s owner, is held liable for the wounds sustained. This may be the case if a dog bites someone while on the property belonging to someone other than the pet’s owner. An example of this would be if you were visiting your friend’s home, and while in the front yard, your friend’s neighbor’s dog ran over and bit your leg. Unfortunately, your friend could be responsible for your injury. If this were to occur, your friend’s homeowners insurance will come into play.
Do I Qualify for Compensation Following a Dog Attack?
If you have been injured by a dog bite, then you may qualify to recover damages such as:
- Medical bills;
- Physical therapy;
- Trauma therapy;
- Reconstructive or plastic surgery;
- Lost wages during your time away from work for recovery, etc.
In order to qualify for recovery, the injured party will need to prove the dog bite attack occurred, which means there needs to be evidence of the attack and documentation regarding the event and aftermath. This may include obtaining a police report, paperwork showing medical costs, a doctor’s note, and photograph of the sustained injury. If you are uncertain of what specific documentation or information you should obtain or retain, ask your dog bite attorney in Los Angeles to provide you with a detailed list of what you need to strengthen your case.
Personal Injury Cases: Dog Bite Attacks
A dog bite attack falls under the heading of personal injury, which is an area that the lawyers at the Dolan Law Firm are well acquainted with.
Personal injury is defined as harm sustained to an individual’s body, mind, or emotions. It is a type of legal case that may be brought before a judge in order to receive a verdict and a settlement. The main focus for this type of claim is that the individual must have suffered harm either physically or mentally (or both).
When someone experiences a dog bite attack, there are numerous repercussions the claimant may have to deal with, including medical care expenses–in the immediate and long-term–lost wages or earning potential, physical therapy, reconstructive surgery, trauma therapy, emotional trauma or distress, loss of quality of life, heightened levels of stress or anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more.
In dealing with all, or even just some of these repercussions, you will want someone there to offer guidance, support, and legal advice so you can effectively navigate the situation you are in. This is where a dog bite law firm can help. Our team of lawyers can offer you their services in your time of need. With years of experience, these attorneys know what you are going through and have the answers you are seeking.
Steps to Follow After a Dog Bite Attack
After a dog attack, you may be disoriented, confused, or physically and emotionally compromised. Because of this, here are some steps that you should keep in mind in the aftermath of such an event:
- Seek immediate medical attention for your wounds;
- Call the police and file an incident report;
- Identify the dog owner and explain what happened if they were not present;
- Exchange contact information, as well as insurance information with the owner–do not forget to get the dog owner’s name;
- Contact a Los Angeles dog bite/personal injury lawyer to review your case;
- Reach out to your insurance company and the insurance company of the dog’s owner;
- Keep a detailed record of everything that happened leading up to the attack and what occurred afterwards.
Neither the attack itself nor the court proceedings are enjoyable experiences. In times like these, make sure you have a strong and reliable legal team on your side to provide their legal expertise and support when you need it most.
How Do I Treat a Dog Bite?
Initially, you should have a trained medical professional treat your dog bite, whether that be an EMT on-site or a doctor in an emergency room. Thereafter you should follow your doctor’s advice. Common types of bites include puncture wounds, torn or ripped skin, lacerations, heavy bleeding, swelling, redness, and infection around the wound site, all of which may result in scarring and nerve damage.
Consider following these steps to avoid infection:
- Change the bandages regularly, or as often as a doctor instructs;
- Use mild soap and water to cleanse the wound to avoid infection;
- Apply antibiotic cream as recommended by your doctor.
How Do I Prevent a Dog Bite?
Ultimately, we all want to avoid dog bites rather than survive them and treat them. Here are a list of preventive measures to take:
- Never approach a stranger’s dog without permission;
- Always ask if you can pet a person’s dog before doing so;
- Do not move quickly towards a strange dog, as you may frighten it and spur it to attack in self-defense;
- Do not rile up or antagonize a dog;
- If a dog becomes agitated or aggressive, remain calm and avoid making direct eye contact.
Observing these cautious rules will help keep you and your family members, especially a child, safe from unwanted dog attacks. Remember, most California dog bite attacks occur when an animal is frightened or feels threatened.
What Does My Dog Bite Attorney in Los Angeles Need to Know?
Your Los Angeles dog bite attorney will need the first name and last name of the dog’s owner, along with any pertinent contact information and the details of the animal attack. As your Los Angeles dog bite lawyer, our first goal is to discover if you are eligible for compensation based on the facts of the injury.
Here are some specific things that your dog bite law firm in Los Angeles will need to know:
- The day and time when the attack occurred;
- Where the attack occurred;
- All contact information you gathered from the dog’s owner;
- The dog’s breed
- A description of the event and wound sustained;
- Your expenses for medical treatment;
- If there were any witnesses or what the dog owner may have said to you after the incident.
Any and all information is important in a case like this, so do not hesitate to share all details with your attorney. The statute of limitations on dog bites is typically two years, so take action now to recover damages.
Contact Us Today
If you have suffered a dog attack in Los Angeles, please contact us today to receive the support and legal assistance through a free case evaluation. We will work diligently to advocate on your behalf.
What other areas does a dog bite attorney in Los Angeles serve?
A dog bite attorney in Los Angeles serves the greater Southern California area. If you are interested and want to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer, call us or fill out our contact form today!
What can a dog bite attorney in Los Angeles do for me?
A dog bite attorney in Los Angeles will show compassion for your situation and will provide you with sound legal advice and options for how to proceed with your claim. At the Dolan Law Firm, our clients have been pleased with their case outcomes and have written testimonials.
Is a dog bite attorney in Los Angeles expensive?
A dog bite attorney in Los Angeles, specifically those at the Dolan Law Firm, work based on a contingency fee basis, so you do not pay unless we recover.