Dog bites are one of the most common types of animal attacks in Southern California, with many requiring significant medical assistance. Many sufferers are children who have been unfairly harmed by unrestrained dogs. For innocent victims, medical expenses, the loss of time on the job, and emotional damage can be too much to handle. Fortunately, there are legal remedies that can help you and other victims to receive some assistance in a terrible situation. A dog bite attorney from Rizio Law Firm can help you get back on your feet.
Why You Need a Lawyer
Even if you know or have spoken to the dog’s owner before, you need an attorney experienced in handling these types of personal injury claims. We handle all dog bite cases in an efficient and professional manner, helping you recoup the maximum reimbursement you deserve to cover your pain and suffering, medical expenses and time off work. With the experienced attorneys at Rizio Law Firm on your side, you will know that someone is speaking for you and with your best interests in mind.
Dog Bites and Medical Expenses
While it might not seem like a dog bite could cause much damage, serious attacks can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of medical expenses. For example, when dogs attack children, the injuries are often extensive, creating an average hospital stay costing over $18,000. Statistically, 27,000 people each year are forced to undergo reconstructive surgery following dog attacks. This fact makes clear the need to collect monetary damages to offset medical expenses.
Potential serious injuries resulting from dog bites include:
- deep puncture wounds from the dog’s teeth
- facial incisions and scars
- infection in the wounds caused by the dog
- broken bones and other crush injuries
- skull and brain injuries
- emotional and psychological trauma from the experience, such as post-traumatic stress disorder
Although particular breeds are responsible for especially vicious attacks, dogs of all types and personalities have the potential to bite under certain conditions. No matter the breed, if a dog attacked you, you have the right to seek payment for your damages.
California Dog Bite Law
In the case of a vicious dog attack, California is a statutory strict liability state. This government-enacted statute simply means that the owner of any dog that bites an innocent victim is monetarily responsible for the damages caused by the dog. According to this statute, the victim must only prove that
- the defendant legally owns the dog
- the victim was not trespassing on the defendant’s property
- the victim was not provoking the dog
- the victim was bitten and suffered injuries because of the dog
- the victim was not performing a paid service involving the dog
(if bitten as part of your job your remedy is under the labor code, not the dog bite statute)
This statute means that whether the bite occurred in a public place or in a private place, such as the owner’s property, at which the victim was lawfully present, the dog owner is liable. It does not matter if the dog has not attacked before or has not threatened another person; the owner must take responsibility for the dog’s actions.
Dog owners who are found to be negligent in the handling of their dogs can be liable for their dog’s bites. Such negligent behavior includes letting the dog wander freely without a leash or allowing guests or passersby to be in harm’s way because of the dog.
It should be noted, however, that California law does not allow non-owners to seek damages if they are found to have been harassing, attacking or otherwise provoking the dog before the attack. The exception to this rule is children under the age of five years who are unlikely to recognize or understand negligence or provocation.
These nuances in the legal language can be difficult to interpret regarding individual circumstances surrounding your dog bite. For this reason, you are best served by hiring a dog bite attorney from Rizio Law Firm to help you understand the wording and to earn the highest award possible for your damages.
Rizio Law Firm Can Help
If you or someone you know has recently suffered from a dog bite, know that Rizio Law Firm can help. We understand your monetary and emotional strain, and we are ready to help you face the recovery process.
Fill out our online form or call us today at 888-292-8888 to find out how a professional, dedicated lawyer can get you the monetary award you deserve.