Los Angeles Dog Bite Attorney

Los Angeles dog bite attorney

If you have suffered a dog bite injury, you need to seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Then, count on our team to represent you. Lerner Law Injury & Accident Firm is here to be your advocate after a dog bite attack. While often referred to as “man's best friend,” a dog attack can also leave you with devastating injuries, some of which could impact you for the rest of your life.

A dog bite lawyer from our team would be happy to review your case and see if you are deserving of compensation. 

Look at some important information regarding dog bites below, and reach out to us to schedule a free consultation after seeking appropriate medical care.

Importance of Choosing the Right Los Angeles Dog Bite Attorney for Your Case

Importance of choosing the Los Angeles dog bite attorney for your case

Coping with the aftermath of a dog bite can be confusing and challenging, and that's why it's crucial to have the right attorney by your side. An aggressive Los Angeles dog bite attorney can play several vital roles in your case:

  • Assisting in the initial steps for a dog bite victim after the incident: An experienced attorney can guide you through what to do after a dog bite, including seeking immediate medical attention, reporting the incident to local authorities, and gathering essential information about the incident and the dog involved.
  • Gathering evidence to support the claim: Your attorney can collect and preserve critical evidence like medical records, photographs and videos of the incident and your injuries, and witness statements to substantiate your claim and help you receive the compensation you deserve.
  • Filing a claim with the dog owner's insurance company: Initiating an insurance claim can be a complex process, and having an attorney can help guarantee the correct and timely submission of the claim.

Our team would be happy to review your dog bite injury claim. Let us take a look at your case and see if we can file a dog bite lawsuit on your behalf.

Dog Bites Statistics in the United States and California

Based on the statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States each year, and nearly 800,000 of these bites require medical attention. In California, which has one of the highest numbers of reported dog bite incidents, a variety of parties could be held liable for your dog bite injuries, so count on our lawyers to investigate your case thoroughly and represent you accordingly.

Overview of Los Angeles Dog Bite Laws

Overview of Los Angeles dog bite laws

Both state and local ordinances govern dog bite laws in Los Angeles. These laws outline dog owners' responsibilities and the available legal options for victims.

One-Bite Rule

Some states adhere to the "one-bite rule," where an owner is not held liable for the first bite their dog inflicts. However, California is not one of those states. Therefore, dogs do not get a "free bite" in CA before the owners are held responsible. Even if a dog bites you once, the owner could still be held responsible for the injury you suffered.

Strict Liability for Dog Bites

California follows a "strict liability" dog bite statute, as outlined in California Civil Code Section 3342. This law states that the dog owner is liable for damages incurred by a person bitten by their dog, notwithstanding the dog's former viciousness or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness.

Different Types of Dog Bite Cases

Dog bite cases can vary based on the injury's severity, the attack's circumstances, and the breed of the dog involved. Some cases involve minor injuries that heal with minimal medical intervention, while others can lead to severe physical trauma, emotional distress, and even death. The right attorney can guide you through your unique situation and advise you on the best legal strategy to pursue.

Common Causes of Dog Attacks in California

Common dog bite & animal attack injuries

Dog bites occur due to several factors, and a few common examples include:

  • Irresponsible care for the animal: This includes a lack of proper socialization, training, or supervision of the dog.
  • Lack of medical care for the dog: Some dogs may become aggressive due to untreated illnesses or injuries.
  • Abuse or mistreatment: Dogs that have been abused or mistreated are more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior.
  • Dangerous dog breeds: Certain breeds, such as pit bulls and Rottweilers, are often categorized as dangerous due to their potential for aggression. However, any breed can be dangerous under the right circumstances.

Common Dog Bite & Animal Attack Injuries

Dog bite injuries can extend from minor puncture wounds to serious injuries requiring extensive medical treatment. These can include but are not limited to deep skin lacerations, puncture wounds, broken or fractured bones, nerve damage, facial injuries, and psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Steps After a Dog Bite in Los Angeles

Following a dog bite in Los Angeles, there are several important steps you should take:

Seek Immediate Medical Attention

The first step following a dog bite should always be to seek immediate medical attention. This is critical because dog bites can cause serious injuries, including broken bones, puncture wounds, and infections; timely treatment is vital. Moreover, seeking professional medical care also provides a formal record of your injuries, which can be an essential evidence piece in your claim.

Report the Attack

After getting medical attention, it is crucial to report the attack to the local authorities, such as animal control or your local police department. These authorities will not only help ensure the dog is handled appropriately to prevent further attacks, but they can also create an official report documenting the incident. This official report can play a key role in your claim, serving as unbiased evidence of the attack.

Take Photographs for Documentation

Proper documentation of your injuries and the scene of the attack is crucial when pursuing a dog bite claim. Make sure to take clear and detailed photographs of your injuries, the area where the attack occurred, and, if possible, the dog responsible for the attack. These pictures can provide a visual record of the incident and demonstrate the severity of your injuries, which can be invaluable in your claim.

Gather Information About the Dog That Attacked You

Information about the dog and its owner can be a pivotal part of your claim. Try gathering details about the dog, such as its breed, size, color, and distinguishing features. Also, get the owner's name, address, contact details, and any insurance information they might have. If there were any witnesses to the attack, it would be helpful to collect their contact information as well, as their testimonies can bolster your claim.

Contact an Attorney Immediately

Finally, contacting an experienced dog bite attorney as soon as possible is one of the most important steps you can take after a dog bite. A proficient attorney can guide you through the complex legal process, help gather necessary evidence, handle communications with insurance companies, and advocate for your rights. By engaging a lawyer early, you can focus on your recovery while they focus on building a compelling case on your behalf.

Liable Parties in Dog Bite Claims in Los Angeles

Liable parties in dog bite claims in Los Angeles

In most cases, the dog owner is the primary party liable for a dog bite under California's strict liability law. However, other parties might also be held responsible depending on the circumstances, such as property owners, landlords, or caregivers who were responsible for the dog at the time of the incident.

Statute of Limitations for California Dog Bite Cases

In California, the statute of limitations says that you have two years from the time of the attack to file your claim. This is stipulated by the California Code of Civil Procedure 335.1. This means victims have a two-year timeframe from the date of the bite to initiate a lawsuit. If they fail to file within this timeframe, they may be barred from seeking compensation. Reach out to us as soon as possible for a free case review.

Compensation Available to Los Angeles Dog Bite Victims

Compensation available to Los Angeles dog bite victims

Dog bite victims in Los Angeles may be entitled to several types of compensation.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are designed to compensate victims financially for the tangible costs they incur as a result of their injuries. The categories of economic damages that are often applicable in dog bite cases are:

  • Medical bills: This deals with the cost of medical care immediately following the dog bite, which can include emergency room visits, diagnostic tests, medications, and surgeries. It can also cover ongoing medical needs such as follow-up appointments, physical therapy, and any necessary medical devices.
  • Lost wages: If a dog bite victim has to take time off work to recover from their injuries or attend medical appointments, they can be compensated for the income they lost during that time. This also includes reduced earning capacity if the injuries permanently impact the victim's ability to work.
  • Cost of future medical treatment: If a dog bite leads to long-term or permanent injuries that will require future medical care, victims can be compensated for the estimated cost of that care. This includes physical therapy, future surgeries, long-term medications, and other anticipated medical needs.

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages are granted to compensate for the more intangible effects of a dog bite that don't come with a clear price tag. These often include:

  • Pain and suffering: This is reparation for the physical pain and discomfort a victim experiences as a result of the dog bite and any related treatments or surgeries. Pain and suffering damages recognize that physical pain profoundly affects a person's quality of life.
  • Emotional distress: Dog bite victims often experience significant emotional distress following the incident, including fear, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. Emotional distress damages compensate for the psychological impact of the dog bite and the effect it has on the victim's daily life.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: If a dog bite impacts a victim's ability to enjoy their regular activities or hobbies or diminishes their overall quality of life, they can be compensated for this loss. This can include being unable to participate in physical activities, hobbies, or social events due to the attack's injuries or emotional impact.

Call Our Los Angeles Dog Bite Lawyers at Lerner Law Injury & Accident Firm Today for a Free Consultation

Call our Los Angeles dog bite lawyers

You don't have to face this challenging time alone if you or a loved one has been injured in a dog bite incident. Our compassionate and experienced Los Angeles dog bite attorneys at Lerner Law Injury & Accident Firm are here to help. 

Contact us today for a free consultation, and we'll lead you through your legal journey toward recovery and justice.

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