Dogs are among the most popular household pets in California and throughout the United States. Unfortunately, while most people have only positive experiences with dogs, others are not so fortunate. Dog attacks can happen unexpectedly with little to no provocation, and even dogs with no known history of aggression can inflict severe injuries on people with no warning. If you or a loved one recently suffered an injury from someone else’s dog in California, it’s vital to know your legal rights for holding the owner accountable.
Legal Representation for Carson, CA, Dog Bite Injuries
The attorneys at McLachlan Law, APC, know how traumatizing and painful a dog attack can be for the victim and their family. Our firm has years of experience providing comprehensive legal counsel to victims of dog attacks and other personal injuries, helping to hold the parties responsible for causing these incidents accountable for the losses victims suffer. As a result, we can provide the guidance and legal support you need to secure compensation for your losses from a dog attack in Carson, CA.
Should I Hire a Carson Dog Bite Attorney?
You may believe that fault for your recent dog attack is obvious and that you should have minimal trouble holding the dog owner accountable for your losses. However, the actual legal processes for filing a personal injury claim in California are more complex and demanding than you might expect. In addition, many personal injury plaintiffs often overlook available avenues of compensation, ultimately settling for less than they are legally entitled to claim. Therefore, hiring a Carson dog bite attorney is an investment in your own recovery.
Not only does hiring a Carson dog bite lawyer vastly improve your chances of success with your claim, but it is also likely to yield far more compensation than you could have secured on your own. Additionally, if you were to handle your case without an attorney, you would need to meet the court’s procedural requirements unassisted while also managing your recovery and personal life. This would be incredibly challenging, especially in the face of economic pressure from medical bills and the inability to work. Therefore, instead of risking your recovery in the hope of saving money on attorneys’ fees, secure legal representation from an experienced Carson dog bite lawyer and maximize your recovery.
Is It Worth Suing for a Dog Bite?
California enforces a strict liability rule regarding injuries from dog attacks. This means that if a dog injures a person, the dog’s owner is strictly liable for all damages the dog causes to the victim. It does not matter if the dog has any known history of attacking people. The only legal requirements to assert strict liability are lack of provocation and legal presence at the location where the incident occurred.
If you are wondering whether you should file a civil claim for a dog bite, it is worth consulting an attorney. While you may have little trouble calculating your immediately recognizable damages, your situation could entail other damages that have not yet materialized. Your Carson dog bite attorney can help you calculate both immediate and anticipated future damages you have the right to claim. After speaking with an experienced attorney, you might discover your claim is worth much more than you expected or that your damages far exceed your initial estimates.
Commonly Reported Injuries From Dog Attacks
When most people think of dog attacks, they first imagine bite-related injuries. However, while dogs can easily cause severe injuries from biting, this is not the extent of the injuries that might result from a dog attack. Therefore, a personal injury claim for a dog attack could pertain to injuries such as:
Severe biting injuries. When a dog bites, the bite itself may be just one facet of the victim’s injury. Some dogs bite with tremendous pressure, resulting in puncture wounds and crushing injuries to the victim’s body. This is especially likely if the dog bites a sensitive area like the hands, arms, feet, or legs. In addition, if a dog bites down and does not let go, it may thrash the victim, causing skin and soft tissues to tear and causing extensive bleeding.
Broken bones. Some dogs are large and robust enough to cause devastating bone fractures. The victim of a dog attack could suffer broken bones from the dog itself and from hitting the ground if the dog topples them.
Head injuries. When a dog knocks a victim to the ground during an attack, the victim may hit their head on the ground or a nearby object, sustaining a traumatic brain injury.
Soft tissue damage. Any dog attack is likely to cause traumatic injuries to the soft tissues of the victim’s body, including muscle tissue, ligaments, and tendons. This is especially likely if the dog bites down on a joint, such as the elbow or knee.
Claw injuries. Some dogs have sharp claws, and even trimmed claws are capable of causing deep tears with enough force.
It’s common for dog attacks to result in multiple injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a dog attack, it is vital to consult a Carson dog bite lawyer as soon as possible to determine your best options for legal recourse against the dog’s owner.
How Much Is a Dog Bite Lawsuit Worth?
The potential value of a dog bite claim hinges on the extent of the victim’s damages. California state law allows a personal injury plaintiff to claim compensation for all damages a defendant causes. Therefore, when a dog attacks a person, the dog’s owner absorbs liability for all the victim’s damages, including medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
When it comes to medical expenses, the plaintiff in a dog bite injury case has the right to claim compensation for their immediate medical costs and any long-term treatment they require. For example, suppose a dog bit and crushed the victim’s hand. In that case, they may require immediate emergency care and long-term rehabilitation to restore flexibility and range of motion in the affected hand. The victim may also suffer chronic pain in the injury site. The dog owner would be liable for the victim’s immediate medical treatment costs and the costs of managing their symptoms and long-term recovery needs.
Dog attack victims often face extended recovery periods, during which some of them may be unable to work. If you or a loved one is losing income due to the inability to work after a dog attack, the dog’s owner is liable for your lost wages. Your Carson dog bite attorney can help you calculate lost earnings during your recovery. You also have the right to claim lost future earnings if your injuries are severe enough that you develop a permanent disability from the incident.
California state law also allows personal injury victims to claim compensation for pain and suffering. This may sound difficult to assign a monetary value, but your Carson dog bite lawyer can use several methods for calculating reasonable pain and suffering damages. The amount a plaintiff receives in pain and suffering compensation hinges on the seriousness of their injuries, the traumatic nature of the attack, and the long-term physical and psychological effects they are likely to experience.
Proving Fault for a Dog Attack
The first thing you must do when seeking recovery from a dog attack is establish the dog owner’s liability. California’s strict liability law means that a dog owner is liable for any injuries and damages their pet causes to others. However, a dog owner may assert some defenses to avoid liability for these damages. The first possible defense a dog owner may use is provocation. If the victim provoked the dog in any way, including threatening the dog’s owner, this could form an affirmative defense for the dog owner. The other possible defense is trespassing or illegal entry. The victim of a dog attack must be legally present at the location where the attack occurred to hold the dog’s owner accountable for their losses. If the victim trespassed on private property or broke into the dog owner’s home when the attack occurred, they would have no grounds to claim strict liability.
Find Your Dog Bite Claims Attorney Today
Dog attacks are traumatic experiences that often leave victims with extended recovery times and traumatic effects, including disfiguring injuries and psychological distress. Therefore, it’s vital to assert your legal rights after experiencing a dog attack in the Carson, CA, area. California offers a two-year statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims, and while this may seem like plenty of time to initiate your case, it is always best to start working with an attorney as soon as possible after a dog attack.
McLachlan Law, APC, has years of experience representing Carson, CA-area clients in dog attack claims. We understand the uncertainty and emotional distress these incidents cause, and our goal is to help our client approach their case with confidence and peace of mind. If you or a loved one is struggling with painful injuries caused by someone else’s dog, we can help you recover. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a Carson dog bite attorney and get the answers you need to your most important legal questions.
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