No one expects to suffer a dog bite, but each year families find themselves dealing with this life-changing event. Dog attacks can lead to severe injuries that require medical attention and cause disfigurement or even death.
This traumatic experience can result in hefty medical bills, police investigators, and difficult decisions, which is why families may need help from a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer. An attorney can provide guidance and legal help during what may be one of the most difficult times of your life.
Triumph Law firm represents injury victims who have been harmed by dangerous or aggressive animals. We understand the difficulties involved in dog bite claims and will fight to maximize your compensation so you heal and move on with your life.
How Long do I Have to Seek Compensation for My Dog Bite Injuries?
In California, the time limit for commencing a lawsuit for personal injury caused by a dog bite is two years from the date of the bite. It’s also possible that the statute of limitations could be extended if the victim was a minor when the bite occurred.
There can be exceptions to these time frames. To best ensure that you file within the legal time frame, seek the advice of a knowledgeable dog bite attorney as soon as possible after a dog attack.
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California Dog Bite Laws
California Civil Code Section 3342 defines liability in dog bite cases. Under California law, the owner of a dog is strictly liable for any injuries caused by the dog, regardless of whether or not the owner was aware of the dog’s dangerous propensities.
This means that even if the owner had no knowledge that the dog was dangerous, they are still liable for any damages resulting from the injury.
A dog bite lawyer can negotiate to maximize your financial recovery for losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other non-economic damages.
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Who Is Responsible for My Injuries After a Dog Bite?
The owner of the animal will usually be held liable for any resulting damages or injury. Typically, the homeowner’s insurance will be a factor. However, if someone other than the owner was in control of the animal at the time of the attack, they could be liable.
Furthermore, parents may be vicariously liable if their child under 18 owned the dog. In this situation, it would be up to the parents to pay for any medical bills or costs incurred by the victim due to their minor’s negligence.
Knowing who is responsible for a dog bite is an important factor in proving liability and recovering compensation. A personal injury lawyer can gather evidence and investigate to help determine all liability sources in a dog bite case.
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Typical Injuries Claimed in Dog Bite Cases
Dog bites can cause serious and often devastating injuries. The most common types of injuries are lacerations, puncture wounds, and scratches. These injuries can range from minor to severe, requiring many stitches and causing significant scarring.
The emotional impact of dog bites is also very real, as the victim may suffer from painful physical symptoms as well as from prolonged trauma such as anxiety or depression following the incident.
Victims often experience fear, anxiety, and depression in the aftermath of an attack due to post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. A dog bite lawyer can help you take legal action against those responsible to seek adequate compensation for your injuries and trauma.
What Can I do to Support My Claim Following a Dog Attack?
You can help protect your case by doing the following:
Listen to Your Doctor
It is important to stick to your treatment schedule. If you disregard your doctor’s orders, you may jeopardize your claim and your health.
Think Before You Post on Social Media
Do not discuss the accident or your injuries online, and ask your friends and family to refrain from publishing updates on your condition as well. Any social media post can be used by insurance companies to minimize your injuries or deny your claim.
Because of this, it’s best to reject friend requests from people you don’t already know. Insurance investigators can be looking for a way to limit liability by finding anything incriminating on your social media.
Contacted By an Insurance Company? Be Courteous and Brief
Be wary of what you tell the insurance company. Professionally trained adjusters work are always looking for ways to cut back on their payouts. There is no need to get into any details. Stick to the date and location and your contact information.
Instruct them that you will be able to discuss your injuries when they have been evaluated thoroughly. Let your attorney speak to the insurance company. Having a lawyer represent you after a dog bite accident is the best way to ensure your rights are upheld.
Why do I Need a Dog Bite Attorney?
An experienced attorney knows exactly how and when to push back against the insurance companies, potentially maximizing any compensation. If the insurance company is proving difficult, your attorney can take your case to court to fight for your rights and compensation.
Time is also crucial in dog bite cases, and getting legal help quickly plays a key factor in protecting evidence and setting up more favorable terms with an insurance provider.
Trying to begin legal action months after the incident has occurred can prove much more challenging than acting right away. It’s best to seek out a lawyer as soon as possible after any injury.
Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm About a Dog Bite Claim Today
Dog bites can be very traumatic and cause serious injury and the need for medical care. In addition, victims of dog bite attacks may face costly recovery costs, lost wages, and physical and psychological trauma.
For these reasons and more, seeking help from a qualified dog bite attorney is important to pursue your rights in court. Triumph Law can handle the insurance company and work to ensure you get access to the medical care you need.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help in a free, confidential case consultation.