Dogs are largely considered “man’s best friend,” but even the most well-behaved dogs are capable of inflicting severe injuries to people unexpectedly. Experiencing a dog attack can be an incredibly traumatic experience. Therefore, it is natural for the victim in this type of situation to wonder whether they have any grounds for legal recourse against the dog’s owner. Suppose you or a loved one recently sustained injuries from a dog in the Inglewood, CA, area. In that case, the attorneys at McLachlan Law, APC, can help you determine your best available legal options for recovering your losses.
Legal Representation for Inglewood, CA, Dog Bite Claims
An Inglewood dog bite attorney is the best asset to have on your side after experiencing any kind of dog attack. Even small dogs are capable of causing severe injuries, including puncture wounds, lacerations, and traumatic brain injuries from knocking a victim to the ground. Larger breeds are capable of inflicting life-threatening injuries and causing catastrophic damage that results in permanent disability. Whatever your case may entail, the Inglewood dog bite attorneys at McLachlan Law, APC, can assist with your recovery.
Why Should I Hire an Inglewood Personal Injury Lawyer for Dog Bites?
Dog bite claims in California unfold under the state’s personal injury statutes. While it is technically possible to handle a personal injury claim on your own without an attorney, doing so is risky and incredibly difficult. You would need to meet the Inglewood, CA, civil court’s procedural requirements and filing deadlines while managing your recovery. In addition, if you have been severely injured by a dog and are left in pain and unable to work, you are likely experiencing mounting financial pressure from your damages. Facing all these issues at once without professional legal support significantly diminishes your chances of recovering as fully as California state law allows.
Working with an experienced Inglewood dog bite attorney offers the best chance of not only succeeding with your personal injury claim but also maximizing your total recovery. McLachlan Law, APC, will guide you through each stage of your case, handle all preliminary court filings on your behalf, and assist you to calculate the full scope of your claimable damages. We understand the emotional distress and economic pressure a personal injury can impose on a victim. Therefore, our goal is to help you navigate your case in the most streamlined manner possible.
Who Is Liable for a Dog Bite in Inglewood, CA?
California state law upholds a strict liability rule fora dog bite. This means that if a dog attacks and injures a person, the dog owner is strictly liable for the victim’s damages. There are some prerequisites to this strict liability rule, however. First, the victim must be lawfully present at the location where the attack occurred. This could include public spaces or private property with the property owner’s permission. Dog owners are not liable for injuries their dogs cause intruders or trespassers. Suppose someone breaks into your home or trespasses on your property, and your dog attacks them. In that case, this is functionally defense of the property, and the trespasser or intruder would have no grounds to sue for their injuries.
The second prerequisite applies to provocation. Suppose the victim of a dog attack did anything to provoke the dog into attacking. In that case, the victim might not have grounds to sue the dog owner, or they may face diminished compensation under California’s comparative negligence law. This applies whether the dog has a known history of aggression or not. California’s comparative negligence law states that a plaintiff loses a percentage of their case award equal to their percentage of fault in causing their claimed damages. So, if the victim of a dog attack directly provoked the dog in any way, it’s very likely for comparative negligence to come up in their case, and they may even face a counter suit from the dog owner depending on the nature of their provocation.
Damages and Compensation in a Dog Bite Injury Claim
Dogs are easily capable of inflicting catastrophic injuries on people in several ways. Many dog attacks involve more than just bite-related injuries. It’s possible for dog attack claims to entail injuries such as:
Severe puncture wounds from bites. Many dogs have powerful jaws that are capable of causing painful puncture wounds. Additionally, dogs that clamp down with their jaws may thrash the victim, resulting in torn wounds and severe damage to the soft tissues around the bite area.
Deep cuts and scratches from claws. Most dogs have sharp claws capable of cutting and tearing skin, sometimes causing injuries to soft tissues or even internal organs.
Crushing injuries. Large dogs with strong bites can easily cause crushing injuries if they bite down on the victim’s hand, arm, shoulder, or legs. A strong enough bite can potentially crush small bones and cause fractures in larger bones while destroying soft tissues near the injury site.
Traumatic brain injuries. A dog can knock a victim to the ground, causing the victim to hit their head. Traumatic brain injuries are unpredictable injuries that can pose long-term or life-threatening complications to victims.
Broken bones. Falls caused by dog attacks can also cause bone fractures throughout the body. It’s common for dog attack victims to sustain broken wrists, hands, hips, and even suffer spinal fractures from these incidents.
This is not an exhaustive list of all the injuries a dog can inflict on a person. Many dog attack claims pertain to multiple injuries. The victim of a dog attack has the right to seek compensation for all medical expenses they incur for treatment of their injuries. This includes immediate medical costs such as hospital bills and long-term treatment costs when their injuries demand ongoing care. If your dog attack requires surgery, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and other restorative treatments, the defendant in your dog bite injury claim is responsible for all of these healthcare costs.
Your dog attack injuries may also prevent you from working for an extended time until you recover. When a defendant’s actions force a plaintiff to miss work, the plaintiff has the right to seek compensation for the wages lost during their recovery period. Many dog attacks cause catastrophic injuries that result in permanent disabilities. Suppose your dog bite injury causes a permanent disability that prevents you from ever returning to work. In that case, your Inglewood dog bite attorney can help you claim compensation for the money you will not be able to earn in the future. Your attorney will calculate the income you would have reasonably expected to earn until retirement and adjust for inflation and cost of living adjustments over the years to arrive at a reasonable figure.
While your economic damages from a dog attack may be significant, the bulk of your total recovery will likely come from pain and suffering compensation. Personal injury laws in California let plaintiffs claim compensation for psychological trauma, emotional distress, and physical pain. It may seem challenging to determine an appropriate amount to include with your claim, but your Inglewood dog bite lawyer can use various methods for calculating appropriate pain and suffering damages. When your dog bite injury causes a permanent disability that alters your quality of life, your ability to live independently, and your ability to earn a living, it’s possible to secure a substantial sum of pain and suffering compensation if your personal injury claim is successful.
What Happens to the Dog After a Dog Bite Injury in California?
Many victims of dog bites and other dog-related injuries wonder what happens to the dogs who attacked them. In most cases, the dog is left in the care of its owner, and nothing happens to the dog. However, the judge handling the case may impose specific requirements and restrictions on the dog owner following the attack. For example, they may require the defendant to enroll their dog in obedience training or require safety features on the dog owner’s property to prevent the dog from harming others. In rare cases, the judge may call for the dog’s destruction. This is typically reserved for cases when a dog has an incurable illness that causes aggression or has displayed a history of attacking people unprovoked.
What You Can Expect From Dog Bite Attorneys in Inglewood
The right attorney can make a tremendous difference in your experience with the Inglewood, CA, civil court system. Facing any personal injury claim can be incredibly daunting, even if you have minimal difficulty calculating your damages and the defendant’s fault seems perfectly clear. The reality is that any personal injury claim could become a complex litigation fight, and you need every asset possible on your side to navigate the situation successfully.
McLachlan Law, APC, believes in providing client-focused legal counsel to every client we represent. Our team will take time to get to know you and learn as much as we can about your experience to provide the most robust legal representation we possibly can. Your Inglewood dog bite lawyer will carefully review the details of your dog attack and help you calculate the economic damages you can include with your claim. Your legal counsel will also help you determine a fair amount of pain and suffering to add to your damages, enhancing your overall recovery.
The sooner you connect with an Inglewood dog bite lawyer, the better your chances will be of succeeding with your personal injury claim. The team at McLachlan Law, APC, is ready to provide the legal counsel you need in this demanding situation. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with an experienced Inglewood dog bite attorney.
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