Hawthorne, California Dog Bite Attorney
As dogs are such beloved pets, it isn’t uncommon for those around you to own a dog. And, considering the sheer quantity of dogs in the world, there’s always the potential for a dog bite to occur. Sadly, dog bites are an extremely common injury, and these injuries can be severe.
Dog attacks are rarely expected, and they can lead to various injuries of different severity levels. Children represent nearly half of all cases of dog bites, and protecting them from violent dog attacks can be nearly impossible. No matter the cause or outcome of the attack, however, the victim often finds themselves in a difficult position: Should they sue the dog’s owner to be compensated for their injury?
A dog bite is often the result of negligence on the part of the dog’s owner, so it’s entirely reasonable to open a personal injury claim after a dog bite. Whenever you’re injured due to the negligence of another party, you shouldn’t be held responsible for the medical expenses you incur. Further, you should be adequately compensated for the pain and suffering you undergo due to the incident. Dog bites are certainly no exception to this rule.
If you have suffered a dog bite injury in the Hawthorne, California, area, make sure to get in touch with McLachlan Law at your earliest convenience. We’re experienced in handling dog bite claims, and we understand the ins and outs of California’s dog bite laws. We’ll fight so that you can receive the compensation you’re owed, allowing you to move on from the attack, once and for all.
Can I Sue My Neighbor for a Dog Bite?
The simple answer is yes; it is entirely possible to sue a dog’s owner due to a dog bite injury. A good deal of the time, it will be the best course of action.
Again, keep in mind that this falls under the category of personal injury law. This is the area of law that covers someone who is injured due to the negligence of another party. Whenever a party is aware of a problem and neglects to provide a duty of care, they are putting those around them at risk.
So, if that risky situation leads to another party suffering an injury (whether minor or severe), the responsibility falls on the negligent party. Thus, the victim can open a personal injury claim to seek a settlement for their experience.
If your neighbor’s negligence has led to you receiving a dog bite, you have every right to sue for compensation and damages.
Why Should I Hire a CA Dog Bite Lawyer?
That being said, if you are considering opening a dog bite claim, you must get in touch with an experienced dog bite lawyer. Not only are they knowledgeable in California personal injury law, but they can also discuss legal protections against this dog being able to come onto your property again.
These cases may seem clear, but personal injury law is extremely complex. Although it can be tempting to save money by representing yourself in court, this is never a wise decision regarding personal injury claims. To begin, personal injury law is far more complicated than many individuals realize. If you lack experience with these cases, it can be challenging to receive the settlement that you truly deserve in the end.
If you’re unable to prove liability on the part of the dog’s owner, for instance, you won’t be receiving an adequate settlement. However, if you work with an experienced personal injury attorney, you’ll have someone on your team who understands exactly what the judge is looking for to successfully prove liability.
Ultimately, it is in your best interest to hire a California dog bite lawyer before getting started on your personal injury claim. Otherwise, you could be setting yourself up for failure, even though you are in the right. If you can’t prove this, then your claim isn’t going to turn out as you’d hoped.
How Bad Does a Dog Bite Have to Be to Sue?
As long as you received an injury due to the dog bite, you have the right to sue the owner for damages. This is true whether the injury is minor or severe—even in the case of minor dog bite injuries, you might want to be compensated for any medical expenses you have incurred or even for the trauma you suffered as a result of the experience.
Once you’ve had the bite looked at by a medical professional, make sure to contact a dog bite attorney as soon as possible. They will then be able to begin an investigation to make sure that you are adequately compensated.
Fortunately for victims, the state of California has taken action to ensure that those bitten by dogs are compensated. More specifically, legislation was passed to lend a hand to dog bite victims—this “hand” comes in the form of California Civil Code section 3342. So, if a dog in California bit you, the law is on your side, regardless of the type of injury and its severity.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
It might not come as a surprise, but dog bite injuries can come in a wide variety of forms, as well as varying levels of severity. Depending on the situation, dogs are free to bite a person anywhere—and sometimes, this can lead to a serious wound that will require immediate medical attention.
Most commonly, individuals who experience dog bites will end up with one of the following injuries:
- Puncture wounds
- Soft tissue damage
- Bone fractures
- Internal bleeding
Of course, keep in mind that this isn’t a comprehensive list. If you are bitten by a dog and receive an injury that wasn’t on this list, you’re just as entitled to receive compensation.
Compensation in a California Dog Bite Claim
Naturally, if a dog attacks you, you will probably want to seek a fair settlement for your experience. However, because most individuals who are bitten by dogs have never had this happen previously, they’re often unsure about whether a substantial settlement is an option.
Once more, remember that the state of California has legislation in place that is designed to ensure dog bite victims can recover from the injuries they sustain. California Civil Code section 3342 can be utilized in instances of dog bites. With the aid of an attorney, it is entirely possible to receive an impressive settlement—then, you can focus on healing from the attack, both physically and emotionally.
How is a settlement determined in these types of claims? What is the judge or insurance provider looking for to determine the size of your settlement?
To determine compensation, the court will need to determine:
- What kind of medical treatment you received thus far, and how much you have had to pay in medical expenses due to the dog bite incident.
- If medical professionals determined that you would require additional treatments in the future. For instance, will you require plastic surgery to reconstruct the area that was bitten?
- If the dog bite impacted your earning capacity or income. For example, has the injury caused you to be unable to attend work, whether short or long term? Has the injury led to a permanent disability that made you unable to continue working your current job?
- If you experienced any emotional distress or trauma as a result of the dog attack. How has this distress impacted your quality of life?
- If the pain you’ve experienced due to the injury has taken a toll on your quality of life. For example, has the pain made you unable to perform activities you previously engaged in before the incident?
- If the dog attack results in a wrongful death.
Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering for a Dog Bite?
As with any personal injury claim, you have the ability (and the right) to sue for pain and suffering.
No matter the cause, dog bite, or otherwise, it is common for an injury to impact someone’s ability to return to their day-to-day life. In particular, aside from the immediate medical consequences of the incident, the victim will be forced to experience some level of pain. Pain can take a severe toll on an individual’s well-being—whether that pain is due to your physical injuries or is a consequence of emotional distress or trauma.
Essentially, if the pain and suffering you’ve experienced have negatively impacted your quality of life, it’s within your right to sue for damages. This is certainly applicable in instances of dog bites or attacks.
How Much Is a Dog Bite Lawyer?
As with any area of law, the price you pay for a dog bite lawyer can vary quite significantly. Of course, the amount you’ll pay your attorney is going to be dependent upon several factors; not all attorneys are going to charge you the same rate, nor is the method of payment going to be the same. It is possible to hire a cheap dog bite attorney or a much pricier one—that being said, for the sake of your claim, it’s rarely worth it to take on the cheapest lawyer you can find.
Fortunately, seeing as dog bite lawyers work in the category of personal injury, most will charge clients on a contingency basis. This is an incredibly beneficial system of payment from the victim’s point of view. In essence, if your attorney cannot help you receive damages, you aren’t going to owe them any money. Alternatively, if your claim leads to any amount of damages, you will be required to pay your lawyer for their services.
Whatever your final settlement looks like, your dog bite lawyer will simply receive a portion of that total. Generally, this will be a particular percentage, which can be determined in advance.
So, to open the claim, you aren’t going to need to worry about any upfront fees—getting the dog bite claim started will cost you nothing when it comes to legal fees.
It’s also worth considering how much money you could lose, should you decide against opening a personal injury claim. At the time of the attack, the injury you receive can seem minor and as though it won’t lead to significant medical expenses. However, injuries may become more severe than professionals had initially realized, leading to an influx of additional costs. If you failed to open a personal injury claim, you could be left to pay all these expenses out of pocket.
Financially speaking, it’s worth it to hire a personal injury attorney following a dog bite. Even if your attorney fails to bring in any damages, based on the contingency that most personal injury attorneys utilize, you aren’t going to need to worry about lost funds. So, whether the dog bite was minor or severe, it’s a wise financial decision to open a personal injury claim.
Hire a Trusted Hawthorne Dog Bite Attorney
Not only is it in your best interest to open a personal injury claim following a dog attack, but you’re also going to need to hire an experienced attorney. While it is technically possible to represent yourself in personal injury court, this is never a wise decision. Instead, to dramatically increase the likelihood that you receive a fair settlement, you’ll need to work with a skilled dog bite lawyer.
Fortunately for those in the Hawthorne, California area, you are always able to turn to the legal services of Mike McLachlan. Mike has an impressive 25 years of civil litigation experience, including substantial experience handling personal injury and dog bite claims. So, if you’re looking to receive the damages you’re rightfully owed, then make sure to get in touch with McLachlan Law at your earliest convenience. To schedule a consultation, reach out to our office via our convenient online form.
Don’t hire just a dog bite attorney to handle your claim. Instead, make sure that you’re working with a lawyer who has a track record of success. In Hawthorne, CA, the choice is obvious: Just turn to Mike McLachlan for legal aid.