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Los Angeles Dog Bite Lawyer

Los Angeles Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog bites can lead to serious injuries, and liability must be determined to address claims for damages. If you’ve been attacked by a dog, it’s essential to seek legal help. Our Los Angeles dog bite lawyers can help you if you have been attacked by a dog in California and want to obtain legal compensations for your injuries. 

 Quick Facts  
Owner’s strict liability in dog attacks The owner is legally liable for damages resulting from his/her dog biting someone, if the victim was bitten in public or in a lawful location.

Military or police dog bites exemptions

– If the dog defends itself from a perceived threat or attack;

– When assisting or protecting personnel and other individuals on duty

Dog bites in victims with pre-existing health conditions

The owner can be held responsible if a dog bite exacerbates a victim’s pre-existing medical condition (for example, if a person has a heart attack during a dog bite attack in Los Angeles).

Recklessness or negligence allegations Our Los Angeles dog bite lawyers can build a case for reckless (conscious disregard for known risks) or negligent behavior (not necessarily intending harm, but still causing injury).
Considerations for child victims

– Owner cannot argue provocation;

– Children under five cannot be legally considered negligent;

– Minors are not found guilty if they followed their parents’ instructions.

Comparative negligence for dog bites in Los Angeles

Allows for recovery of damages even if the injured party bears some responsibility, with the awarded amount reduced based on his/her degree of fault.

Types of compensation for dog bite injuries

– medical expenses,

– lost wages during the recovery period from the attack,

– property damages, etc.

Statute of limitations for dog bite injuries

Within two years of the injury occurrence – Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys will help you file the case in time.

Examples of dog bite injuries

– puncture wounds,

– lacerations,

– abrasions,

– contusions,

– hematomas,

– nerve damage,

– fractures,

– disfigurement,

– rabies, etc.

Emotional consequences of dog bite injuries Our Los Angeles dog bite lawyer will demonstrate the emotional impact on a victim’s quality of life, in the personal injury case.
Deadly dog bite attacks

The victim’s family can file a wrongful death claim to seek damages on behalf of their loved one.

Dog attacks by other dogs cases

It does not fall under the state’s dog bite laws, but you can file a case of property damage resulting from the attack on your dog.

What to do after a dog bite

– Seek immediate medical attention,

– Report the incident with authorities,

– Document the incident and evidence,

– Get witness information,

– Consult with a personal injury attorney.

How can our personal injury attorneys help?

– Conduct investigation on incident,

– Obtain police records,

– Establish insurance claim,

– File dog bite lawsuit,

– Build a strong case on your behalf.

Additional services

– medical malpractice assistance,

– birth injury cases,

– burn victims legal advice,

– slip and fall cases, etc.

Legal framework California Civil Code, Section 3342

When to contact our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys

As soon as possible after the incident

Appeal (for dog owners)

Owners can appeal if their dog is deemed dangerous or vicious or set to be euthanized.

Trial process If the case cannot be solved through settlement negotiations
Dog bite attacks while tresspasing

The owner bears limited liability.

Strict liability for dog bite attacks

Dog owners are held responsible for damages even if he/she was not negligent (with some exceptions).

Severity of dog bite injury

Regardless of the severity, victims have the right to pursue compensation.

The “Veterinarian’s Rule”

Veterinarians or professionals who assume the risk of being bitten by dogs as part of their job duties cannot rely on strict liability.

Dogs causing harm without biting

California’s strict liability does not apply.

Victims can claim compensation by proving the owner’s negligence.

Our personal injury attorneys can help in this case.

Criminal charges If a dog owner allows his/her dog to roam freely and is aware of its aggressive behavior
Consequences for dangerous dogs

If the animal has a history of aggression and biting, it can be taken away or even euthanized.

Provoking the dog

The owner may not be held responsible for the injury.

Landlord liability

If he/she knew about the animal’s dangerous behavior, but did not remove it from the property.

Attacks while dog is on a leash

The owner can still be held liable for any injuries caused by the dog.

Locations where the dog bite occurs and the owner is liable

– public places,

– lawfully in private place 

Law for dog bites in California, presented by our Los Angeles dog bite lawyer

Dog bite injuries in Los Angeles fall under the category of Article 2 of the California Civil Code, Section 3342. According to law, the owner of a dog is liable for any damages suffered by an individual who is bitten by his or her animal in a public place and/or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog. Whether or not the owner was aware of the dogs’ aggressiveness is not important. 

The law does not allow for legal actions against dogs serving in governmental agencies, such as military or police dogs. This only applies if the bite occurred while the dog was defending itself from a provoked act. It also extends to situations where the dog was assisting an agency employee in the performance of their duties. This applies if the governmental agency using a dog for police matters has a written policy on the necessity to use the dog for a certain type of work. This can include police activities like the investigation of a crime, the execution of a warrant or the defense of the policeman.

The law on governmental agencies using work dogs does not apply if the individual bitten by a police or military dog was not a suspect in the acts that justify the use of a dog in police or military activity.

The law has a different application in the case of children under the age of 5 because it is not a legal assumption that a child this young could provoke a dog to attack. Also, the provocation does not apply to a child who was acting as per his parents instructed him to do. Our Los Angeles dog bite lawyer can give you in-depth information about special rules in case the victim is a child.

Strict liability, explained by our Los Angeles dog bite lawyer

The owner’s liability for dog bite cases is called strict liability, meaning that the owner is fully responsible for the damages caused by the dog. According to the California Civil Code, it is not a question of where the dog bite accident took place. The owner is liable for the damages suffered by the person who is bitten even if he was on his own private property when the accident took place. Likewise, the owner is liable even if he or she was unaware of the dog’s viciousness. 

In order to build a solid case for dog bite accidents, our Los Angeles dog bite lawyers will need to assess who is the true owner of the dog, the type of bite and the extent of the injuries caused. In order to be able to determine that the person handling the dog was responsible for the accident, our lawyers in L.A. will need to prove that it was a negligence case.

The only case in which the owner of the dog cannot be held liable for a dog bite injury is if the dog is part of a military or police service and the bite took place while the dog was defending itself or while working with the military or police agent and acting in the investigation of a crime and/or defending the officer or another person.

Our personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles will take into account if a dog bite exacerbates a victim’s pre-existing medical condition. In this case, the dog owner may be held liable for any resulting medical complications. For instance, if an elderly person experiences a heart attack during a dog attack and suffers further health issues, the settlement amount may be substantial, especially if it leads to the person’s death.

For reckless or negligent behavior, our team of Los Angeles dog bite lawyers can help build a strong case on behalf of a dog bite victim. Recklessness generally involves a conscious and deliberate disregard for known risks. It implies that the dog owner was aware of the potential harm their dog could cause, but chose to act in a manner that disregarded the safety of others. Negligent behavior may not involve a conscious intent to cause harm, but can still result in legal liability if it leads to injury. Both situations are serious matters and will be considered by our team. Consulting with our personal injury attorney in Los Angeles can be beneficial to understanding your legal options for seeking compensation.

The dog bite law also provides for special considerations when the victim is a child. The owner of the dog that attacked the child cannot, in this case, make his case based on provocation. This would imply that the child was negligent in his conduct towards the animal and a child cannot be legally regarded as negligent if he is under the age of five. If the minor was acting according to his parent’s instructions, then he is incapable of being found guilty. California takes personal injuries involving children very seriously. The legal system is designed to provide support and recourse for families facing such challenges.

Certain cities in California can enact their own strict liability law for dog bite cases. It is useful to request the help of a Los Angeles dog bite lawyer who can give you detailed information if the accident took place in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, or other cities.

Comparative negligence for dog bite cases

In California, comparative negligence is used to determine liability and the distribution of damages in personal injury cases, including dog bite incidents. California follows a “pure” comparative negligence system, which means that, even if the injured party is partially at fault for his/her injuries, he/she can still recover damages from other at-fault parties, but the amount received is reduced.  

A good example of comparative negligence in dog bite cases is if the victim was warned about a dog’s potential aggression, but attempted to pet it anyway and got bitten. In this case, the court may assign a percentage of responsibility to the victim and reduce their settlement accordingly. Our Los Angeles dog bite lawyers will help you determine if your situation fits into the comparative negligence system and follow the required procedures.

Compensations for dog bite injuries

The maximum amount of time a victim has to file a lawsuit against the owner of the dog that provoked personal injuries is two years. This is called statute of limitations. Our Los Angeles dog bite lawyers can help you build a case using the legal provisions for the owner’s liability or proving that the attack was a case of negligence on the part of the owner.

Although each case is different, according to law, you can request compensation for the following damages in case of a dog bite attack:

  • medical expenses;
  • lost wages caused by lost time off work during the recovery period;
  • property damage, if applicable;
  • future medical expenses, including cosmetic surgery, if needed.

If a physician who treated you for serious dog injuries was negligent and thus contributed to an aggravation of your physical state, you can file a medical malpractice claim in addition to the one for dog bite injuries. However, a time limit applies in this case and our medical malpractice attorneys in Los Angeles can give you more information about this. 

You can find out more about this issue from the presentation prepared by our Los Angeles dog bite lawyer

The statute of limitations for dog bite injuries in California

California has a statute of limitations for dog bite injuries and all other types of personal injury claims. The case can be brought to court within two years after the injuries took place. If the dog bite case is brought to court later, then the court may not even hear the case. 

Victims should keep in mind that the dog bite rule in California does not apply for police or military dogs that were engaged in specific duties at the time the bite took place.

Examples of dog bite injuries

Our Los Angeles dog bite lawyers will present you with some of the most frequent dog bite injuries:

  • puncture wounds, that can be prone to infection;
  • lacerations or tears in the skin and underlying tissues;
  • abrasions or scrapes to the skin, especially if the dog’s teeth graze the surface without penetrating deeply;
  • contusions and bruising due to the force of a dog bite;
  • hematomas;
  • nerve damage, which can lead to pain, numbness, or loss of function in the affected area;
  • fractures and broken bones, especially in the cases in which the victims tried to defend themselves;
  • disfigurement, in the case of serious dog bites;
  • rabies, although these cases are rare;
  • death, if vital organs or major blood vessels are damaged.

Our Los Angeles dog bite lawyers advise you to seek prompt medical attention for any dog bite, as even seemingly minor bites can lead to complications.

Certain breeds, such as Pit Bull Terriers, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds, have been frequently associated with a higher number of reported dog attacks. However, it is important to mention that individual dog behavior varies widely within these breeds. Our personal injury attorneys in LA also understand that, while certain breeds may have a reputation for aggression, any dog breed can cause harm. 

The emotional impact of a dog bite injury

The emotional implications of dog bite injuries are also important and can be taken into consideration when forming the claim. Although they are harder to quantify, the victim can claim damages for the long-lasting trauma, especially if the attack was a violent one. Severe mental anguish is inflicted in an animal attack and an injury caused by a dog is no exception. While the defendant may argue that this is not the case, the help of our Los Angeles dog bite lawyer is essential for showing that the victim is likely to relive the experience in a traumatic manner and this has a clear impact on one’s quality of life.

The extent of the physical injuries will be used as evidence to show that the attack did have an emotional impact, especially if the scars are very visible or the victim has suffered mutilations after having been bitten by an aggressive dog. In cases like these, our Los Angeles dog bite lawyer can argue that the victim’s life is permanently altered as a result of having to live with the scars, especially if they are on one’s face or, worse, if the victim has lost mobility (such as a severed finger, perhaps, or another form of injury that permanently modifies one’s anatomy).

Like many other stressful events, a dog attack can cause post-traumatic stress (PTSD) and our Los Angeles dog bite lawyer will make sure to discuss with the victim, and enlist the services of an expert such as a psychologist in order to evaluate the level of trauma and be able to submit proper, documented evidence when making the claim. This is even more important in children who, of attacked at an early age, may develop PTSD and, if left untreated, this may very well impact their psychological development. Victims can claim monetary compensation for the treatment associated with having to care for specialty treatment, such as therapy sessions, after an unfortunate animal attack. These costs are typically included in the future medical costs when making the claim and they can be estimated based on therapy fees in the area where the victim lives. Our team of lawyers can help you include these costs in the general ones when estimative the value of the settlement.

Some of the PTSD symptoms that can appear after a dog attack include the following:

  • Reliving the event: this is also referred to as re-experiencing the symptoms; the victim tries to rationalize the event and this can cause nightmares, disturbing’s one sleep and affecting his quality of life;
  • Avoiding situations: after a dog attack, victims may try to avoid any sort of interaction with a canine, be small or large;
  • Experiencing negative beliefs: it is not uncommon for the victim’s mood to change and for him to lose interest in previously enjoyable activities; left untreated, the negative thoughts and moods can worsen and lead to clinical depression;
  • Extra arousal: the victim may experience a high level of physical tension, be overly alert all the time, in an attempt to be on guard and to prevent another attack; following a dog bite case, this can take place whenever the victim leaves the house and it can, understandably, have a negative impact on his quality of life.

Dog bites can be traumatic events that vary in severity according to the wounds, the victim’s age, and physical condition. Getting specialized legal aid from our Los Angeles dog bite lawyer can be very helpful.

Dog bite victims

According to DogBite.org, a public education website, dog bite accidents can be fatal in America:

  • There were 81 dog bite fatalities in 2021, a 69% increase from 2019;
  • 51% of the dog bite fatality victims in 2021 were 45 years old or older;
  • 24 deaths occurred in the age group 0-24 years;
  • The South and West regions of the United States had the most unreported deaths (37 and 21 deaths).

It is important to note that not all dog bite victims die immediately after the accident. In some cases, the extent of the injuries can cause severe brain damage (when main arteries are bitten through) and the victim dies after a certain hospitalization period.

Understandably, not dogs are dangerous, even if they are a breed that is known for its aggressiveness. Following up on the exact circumstances of the case is important and our Los Angeles dog bite lawyer can provide adequate assistance to victims.

Feel free to contact our Los Angeles dog bite lawyers if you have been the victim of a dog bite and you are looking for legal compensation. Our lawyers can assist in various accidents in the state of California and can also help you with cases that involve defective products.

Apart from dog bite injuries, our team can also help you if you were injured during childbirth. Some of the most common types of injuries include bruising to the child, or excessive tear or bleeding for the mother. If you believe that your delivery was handled improperly, or if the doctors caused your child herm during delivery, you can reach out to our Los Angeles birth injury lawyers.

We can also help you in other personal injury cases because we have different teams of lawyers:

– truck accident attorneys in Los Angeles

– brain injury attorneys in Los Angeles,

– slip and fall lawyers in Los Angeles,

– wrongful death attorneys in Los Angeles,

– medical malpractice attorneys Los Angeles.