San Bernardino Dog Bite Attorney
Every year, an estimated 4.7 million dog bites occur in the United States. These incidents can have serious consequences. Psychological trauma and physical injuries like puncture wounds, nerve damage, lacerations, contusions, infections, scarring and even amputations can result. Victims often find themselves struggling with pain and emotional distress and facing financial hardships like medical bills and lost wages. If you have been injured by a dog bite, seeking the assistance of a San Bernardino Dog Bite Attorney can help you secure the compensation that you deserve.
Dog Bites: Responsibility, Liability and the Law
Every dog owner has a duty to socialize and train their animals, maintain their health vaccinations, and ensure that they are always adequately controlled. Unfortunately, not all owners are diligent about their duty, and their failure can pave the way for a dog bite incident. When it comes to dog bites, California has strict liability rules. Strict liability means that if a person suffers a dog bite injury while on public property or while they are lawfully on private property, then the owner can generally be held responsible.
The strict liability rule holds true regardless of whether the dog has ever displayed aggressive behavior before. However, there are some defenses that dog owners can utilize that may allow them to limit or avoid being held liable under specific circumstances. It is vital that any victim of a dog bite consult a dog bite attorney who can help them understand their options and collect the evidence necessary to prove their case.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Bite Law
There are various factors that can affect the outcome of a dog bite claim, and it is essential for victims of dog bites to be aware of them. Reviewing some commonly asked questions about dog bites can be helpful.
When Is an Individual’s Presence on Private Property Considered Lawful?
A person is considered to be lawfully present on private property if they were explicitly or implicitly invited by the owner to be there. In addition, individuals carrying out a legal duty are considered to be there lawfully. Why does it matter? Trespassing is a viable defense for dog owners. If the victim was bitten while trespassing on private property, the dog’s owner is not held liable for the injury.
Does It Matter If the Dog Was Provoked?
Provocation is another plausible defense in a dog bite case. If the victim was hitting, kicking or otherwise provoking the animal when the bite occurred, the dog’s owner might not be liable for the resulting injuries.
Are the Rules the Same for Police Dogs?
Police dogs, military dogs and other dogs used for official government work are held to a slightly different standard. While there are some exceptions, the victim generally cannot make a claim if the bite occurred while the dog was defending an officer or assisting them in the performance of their duties.
How Long Do Victims Have to File a Claim for a Dog Bite?
Due to the statute of limitations for these types of cases, victims generally must file a claim within two years of the bite.
What Should a Victim Do After Being Bitten?
Being bitten by a dog can be incredibly traumatic. Taking the proper steps after the attack can protect the victim’s health and their rights. What should people do after a dog bite?
- Seek medical treatment for any injury as soon as possible.
- Identify the dog responsible for the bite and its owner.
- Report the bite to the appropriate animal control agency or sheriff’s department.
- Document the injuries and the site of the attack with photographs. If possible, take pictures of the dog.
- Contact an experienced dog bite attorney for assistance.
How an Attorney Can Help
Regardless of whether the dog’s owner is disputing the attack or their insurance company is pushing for a settlement, it is wise for San Bernardino dog bite victims to seek out the assistance of an attorney with significant experience handling dog bite cases immediately. How can a lawyer help? They can take action to identify defendants and witnesses and ensure that crucial evidence is preserved correctly. In addition, an attorney can inform the victim about all the various forms of compensation that they may be entitled to and educate them about their options. An insurance company’s priority is keeping its costs low, so victims may be pushed to make damaging statements or settle cheaply. A capable attorney will work to ensure that a dog bite victim is adequately compensated for both their financial and noneconomic losses.
If you or someone you love has suffered harm as the result of a dog bite, it is time to seek out the assistance of an experienced San Bernardino dog bite attorney. At Rizio Lipinsky, we don’t allow our clients to be bullied or dismissed. When you enlist our team, you can be sure that we will fight to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.
- This article should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship with anyone. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney in your community.