SAN FRANCISCO DOG BITE LAWYER
Dogs are often called a man’s best friend. Nonetheless, dogs are still animals, and it is their instinct to protect themselves and they can sometimes attack provoked or not.
If you are injured from a dog bite attack, you need the help of an experienced San Francisco dog bite lawyer.
The state of California has established laws for animal attacks. These laws help the victim to obtain compensation from the animal owner.
Personal injury attorneys experienced in animal attacks or dog bite cases are knowledgeable about the laws surrounding these cases. They can help you obtain the best possible outcome when you find yourself in this situation.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CALIFORNIA DOG BITE LAWS
California Civil Code Section 3342 is the law governing dog bites. This section states that the owner of the dog is liable for any injuries sustained by the victim.
Section 3342 also says that a dog owner is still responsible for the injured victim even if he claims his dog to be well-behaved.
The California dog bite law does not cover injuries other than dog bites. The dog bite law helps you to seek compensation from the dog owner. A dog bite lawyer will help you to determine whether the dog owner’s homeowner or another type of insurance may cover your damages. California negligence law can protect you from this type of situation. You just need to select an experienced dog bite lawyer who is knowledgeable about these laws.
COMMON INJURIES RESULTING FROM A DOG BITE/DOG ATTACK
Dog bite attacks can cause several serious injuries to the victim. The following are examples of dog attack injuries:
- Puncture wounds: Dogs have strong jaws, and their bites can break down flesh and bones. Since they are predatory animals, they need this strong bite force to devour their prey. A puncture wound could lead to several infections when not treated properly.
- Scars: Dog bites and dog scratches cause deep skin trauma. When skin is severely damaged, the victim may have to undergo surgery or stitching. Deep scratch is also a serious injury that can often lead to permanent scarring.
- Rabies: When you think of dog bites, you’ll often think about rabies. Rabies is a viral infection spread by the saliva of an infected animal. When an infected dog bites a person, their saliva is introduced into their bloodstream, causing a rabies infection.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: Stress disorders happen when a person faces imminent danger. PTSD patients have a hard time coping with traumatic events. This is a severe mental health condition that could seriously affect a person’s life.
- Infection: Dog bites introduce infections other than dog bites. This includes bacterial and other viral infections. Bacterial and viral infections spread rapidly through the victim’s body if it is not treated immediately.
WHO SHOULD BE HELD LIABLE FOR DOG BITE INJURIES?
California law states that the person held liable in a dog attack is the dog’s primary owner. In addition, the homeowner where a dog bite attack occurs and the landlord of the property can also be held liable. Dog caretakers or any person handling the dog during the attack may also be responsible for the victims’ injuries.
The dog bite law is applicable even if the dog’s aggression is unknown to the owner’s knowledge. The only exception to this law is when a victim provoked the dog into attacking. The dog bite liability for the owner is also lifted when a dog attacks a person committing a crime or trespassing.
THINGS YOU SHOULD DO AFTER A DOG BITE/DOG ATTACK
An animal attack could lead to severe complications if untreated. Infections from a dog bite spread rapidly in a victim’s body. Thus, time is of the essence after a dog bite attack. Here are what a dog bite victim should do after the accident:
- Seek immediate medical attention: Animal attacks can cause serious physical injuries. Call an ambulance or seek emergency medical care immediately after a dog bite incident, especially if there is visible blood.
- Gather information: After the accident, get as much information as you can. Obtain the name of the owner and their contact information. You will use these details to recover financial compensation for your injuries.
- Collect photographic evidence and report to authority: You should report the accident to local authorities. Take photographs of the scene and injuries. Photographic documentation can be critical in pursuing your claim, including filing a lawsuit. This will help you recover monetary compensation to help you with your recovery.
- Contact an experienced dog bite lawyer: A dog bite lawyer can help you obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve. They can help you process the legal groundwork for a dog bite case, investigate the availability of insurance in covering injuries, and file a lawsuit if out-of-court negotiation stalls.
COMPENSATION YOU CAN RECOVER FOR YOUR DOG BITE INJURIES
A dog bite victim has the legal right to demand compensation from the dog’s owner. There are different types of compensation available for a dog attack victim. These compensations can either be economic or non-economic damages.
Economic damages include:
- Compensation for medical bills: A victim can receive compensation for any medical treatment expenses caused by the bite injury. A dog bit victim can also claim costs that are necessary for future treatment.
- Compensation for lost wages: A victim can recover compensation when they lose workdays because of the injury. Future lost wages can also be part of the damages claimed by a victim. For example, if a person is a carpenter and has his hand severely damaged by a dog bite, the permanent nature of the injury can affect his future ability to earn income.
Non-economic damages include:
- Emotional distress: A victim has the right to obtain compensation from the dog’s owner if they developed emotional or mental anguish from the accident.
- Loss of enjoyment of life. A victim could demand compensation if he sustained a life-altering injury that hinders him from doing the usual things he did before the incident.
THINGS YOU SHOULD DO TO AVOID DOG ATTACKS/DOG BITES
Accidents cannot be always prevented. However, there are certain precautions one can take to minimize the potential of harm. Here are some of the tips that you could take to prevent future dog bite attacks.
If a certain dog is known to be aggressive, it is only logical to stay away from it. A dog with a poor temper is more likely to attack as compared with gentler dogs. Only approach a dog when the dog owner allows you.
Always keep an eye out for young children. Kids tend to be more active and excited around dogs as compared to adults. They might hurt the animal unknowingly and provoke the dog to attack in defense. If possible, don’t leave your children alone with an unsupervised dog.
Avoid places populated by stray dogs. Stray dogs are typically more aggressive as compared to owned dogs. Stray dogs do not have owners meaning that it is harder to recover any compensation and hold anyone liable.
CALIFORNIA’S STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR A DOG BITE INJURY CASE
The state of California set a 2-year statute of limitation for dog bite victims. This means that when a dog bite accident occurs in San Francisco, the victim can file within two years from the date of the accident. In some circumstances, such as injuries by police dogs, the statute of limitations can be as short as six months.
A good rule of thumb is to immediately seek legal assistance after focusing on basic health recovery. Hire a lawyer who can help you gather evidence for your case. If there is a valid claim, a dog bite injury lawyer can represent you to ensure that you receive the best compensation possible. Since many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, there is no financial burden in seeking legal advice.
HOW CAN HALAVANAU LAW OFFICE, P.C. HELP YOU IN YOUR DOG BITE INJURY CLAIM?
Dog bite accidents happen because of a negligent owner. At Halavanau Law Office, P.C., we extend all efforts to offer the best case representation for our clients. Our San Francisco dog bite attorney has proven years of successful representation. Our personal injury lawyer was able to maximize the amount of compensation for our clients successfully.
At Halavanau Law Office, we can help you to:
- Communicate with insurance companies on your behalf
- Obtain any necessary documentation to support your case
- Gather evidence to help build a solid case
- Help you win damages for your emotional and physical injuries
- File a claim in court if necessary and pursue your claim through litigation
- Represent you at trial
We assist our clients from our initial free case review up until trial representation if your case progresses to that point. At Halavanau Law Office, we care for our clients, and we stop at nothing until they attain the outcome they deserve.
SAN FRANCISCO DOG BITE FAQs
Here are the commonly asked questions about dog bite cases:
There is no specific amount to determine how much a dog bite lawyer costs. A lawyer’s assistance fee varies from each case. Factors such as the severity of the case, the experience and expertise of the lawyer, and the time spent in the case would need to be considered.
Halavanau Law Office, P.C. represents clients on a contingency basis meaning that we are not earning a fee unless we recover funds in your matter. The percentage charged usually depends on the timing of the case resolution and consequently the amount of work invested into the case.
Suing for a dog bite is a personal choice. One factor to consider is that a dog bite can cause severe injuries. Rabies treatment and other medications needed to treat dog bites can be expensive. Not to mention the cost of the doctor’s appointment and future necessary medical care for your dog bite wound. Dog owners should be held responsible for any injuries their pets might cause. Another thing to keep in mind is that majority of cases settle out of court and it is possible to avoid a lawsuit by conducting meaningful and skillful negotiation prior to filing the lawsuit.
The California civil code section 3342 does not extend to dogs attacking other dogs. However, dogs are considered as owners’ property. Under California law, a victim can file a lawsuit if another person damages their property due to negligence.
The size of the damage matters from the perspective of case value. If you are injured because of a dog bite, the dog’s owner should be held liable for any damages. Usually, if you had to seek medical treatment because of a dog bite, a victim should consider speaking to an attorney regarding a dog bite claim.
When the pet owner claims that you provoked the dog to attack, they would need to provide proof for their claim. An experienced dog bite lawyer is familiar with this defense tactic, and the attorney will need to develop their own strategy to fight back.
It is crucial that you act soon after the accident. Seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Our law firm offers a free consultation with our well-regarded animal attack attorney.
A victim can file a lawsuit if a dog keeper intentionally ordered his pet to attack. In such circumstances, on top of the compensatory damages, the defendant may be awarded punitive damages if ordering the attack was unwarranted.
TALK TO AN EXPERIENCED SAN FRANCISCO DOG BITE ATTORNEY TODAY
Dog attacks happen. When you are bitten by a dog, it is only right to hold its owners liable for any damages you sustained. California law provides the basis for such recovery.
Our San Francisco dog bite lawyer can help you with filing a dog bite claim or lawsuit. Our professional legal team upholds our attorney-client relationship. We will represent you, if there is a valid claim, to make sure that you receive a fair settlement for your case or will proceed with a lawsuit.