Dogs are very popular pets throughout the United States, and most people enjoy spending time with their dogs and have no trouble encountering others’ pets in public spaces. Unfortunately, dog attacks can and do happen, often with little to no prior warning. When a dog injures a person in Compton, California, the state enforces a strict liability statute that requires the dog’s owner to take responsibility for the victim’s damages, even if the dog has no known history of aggression.
Compassionate Legal Counsel for Compton Dog Bite Cases
While dogs are widely considered “man’s best friend,” they can inflict severe or even fatal injuries. If you or a family member is recovering from injuries inflicted by someone else’s dog, a Compton dog bite attorney is the best resource to consult if you want to hold the dog owner accountable for your losses. McLachlan Law, APC, can provide the comprehensive legal counsel you need to approach your personal injury claim with confidence.
Establishing Strict Liability for a Dog Bite
The state’s strict liability rule for dog bites functions on the belief that a dog owner should have complete control over their dog at all times. There are only two prerequisites for the strict liability rule to apply to your case if someone else’s dog has injured you. First, you must have been legally present wherever the attack happened. For example, if you were trespassing on another person’s property or intruding into their home or business without permission, they are not liable for any injuries you sustain from their dog defending their property. Second, you must not have provoked the attack, such as being aggressive toward the dog or its owner.
A dog owner cannot be held liable for injuries their pet caused to someone who broke into their home, and it is natural for a dog to protect its owner if it perceives an imminent threat. Unfortunately, it’s relatively common for dog owners to look for any way to deflect liability for injuries their pets cause to others. Your Compton dog bite lawyer is a valuable source of guidance when it comes to what you can expect in your recovery efforts after the incident.
As long as you prove you were legally allowed to be wherever the dog attack happened, and you did not provoke the attack, the strict liability rule applies, and you can hold the dog owner accountable for the losses their pet inflicted. However, California does enforce a pure comparative negligence law. This means that if a defendant asserts that a plaintiff is partially to blame for causing their claimed damages, the plaintiff will lose a percentage of their case award to reflect their shared fault. Your Compton dog bite attorney can address any concerns you may have about bearing any level of partial responsibility for the attack in question.
Damages and Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries in Compton
Once you have established that a dog owner is liable for the damages their pet caused to you, the next phase of your case revolves around proving the full extent of those damages. State law allows you to seek full repayment of economic damages or financial losses, proven with documentation that occurs directly in response to your injury. Hospital bills are a commonly cited example of an immediately recognizable economic loss a plaintiff can seek in their personal injury case.
You also have the right to secure compensation for the long-term and/or permanent damage you suffered due to the accident. For example, if the dog inflicted a catastrophic injury that caused a permanent disability, the injury may prevent you from resuming your previous job or working in the future. In this situation, you have the right to claim compensation for your anticipated future damages in addition to your immediately noticeable losses. Again, a Compton dog bite attorney will be invaluable for accurately determining the full range of economic damages you can include in your personal injury claim.
Beyond your lost income, lost earning potential, and the medical expenses you face in response to your dog attack, you also have the right to recover compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced. The average person is likely to struggle to assign a monetary value to something like physical pain or emotional trauma, and an experienced Compton dog bite lawyer can offer valuable guidance for this aspect of your case and maximize the total compensation you obtain from the defendant.
How Your Compton Dog Bite Attorney Can Empower Your Recovery Efforts
The initial aftermath of a dog attack can be incredibly difficult for anyone to manage. Dogs are capable of inflicting painful injuries that often require extensive medical treatment, and experiencing a dog attack can be very traumatic for anyone. Some victims are left unresponsive due to the severity of their injuries, leaving their family members to seek legal recourse on their behalf. Others are severely traumatized and face a host of physical complications from their injuries and psychological scars from the incident. For example, it is relatively common for victims of serious dog attacks to experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and suffer anxiety around dogs in the future.
If you are certain that you did not trespass on private property and/or provoke the dog attack you experienced, you need to consult an experienced Compton dog bite attorney as soon as possible if you want to have the best chance of holding the dog owner fully accountable. Your legal team can help you gather the evidence needed to establish strict liability for the losses you suffered, and they may uncover channels of compensation you would have overlooked on your own.
McLachlan Law, APC, has years of professional experience handling a wide range of civil claims for damages on behalf of clients in Compton and surrounding communities of California. We know the challenges you are likely to face in the aftermath of a damaging dog attack and the many legal questions you are likely to have regarding your options for legal recourse. We have the professional resources and experience you need on your side to recover from your recent dog attack with confidence. Contact us today and schedule a consultation with a Compton dog bite attorney to learn more about your recovery options after a dog attack.
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