Dogs are some of the most popular pets in California and throughout the United States. Despite the fact that many Americans consider their dogs family members and loyal friends, the reality is that any dog has the potential to cause serious injuries to a person, even if the dog has never attacked anyone before.
Dog owners need to understand their legal responsibilities as pet owners. They must also understand California statutes that apply in the event their dog injures someone. If you have recently been bitten or attacked by someone’s dog, the attorneys at McLachlan Law, APC are ready to help you fight for your recovery. An experienced Torrance, CA dog bite injury lawyer is your best asset in this situation.
Why Do I Need Legal Counsel?
It is not uncommon for victims of dog bites and other personal injuries to assume that liability is clear in their case. Hiring legal representation would only reduce the amount of compensation they receive from winning their cases. However, the reality is that it is very difficult to succeed with any civil claim without professional legal representation, especially when you or a loved one is recovering from painful dog bite injuries.
Your Torrance, CA dog bite injury attorney can handle your legal affairs and ensure your case proceeds smoothly while you focus on recovery. Ultimately, your attorney will likely help you obtain a much larger settlement or case award than you could have managed on your own. The difference is very likely to outweigh the cost of legal fees.
Representing Dog Bite Injury Victims in Torrance, CA
Attorney Mike McLachlan and the team at McLachlan Law, APC have more than 25 years of professional experience representing clients in the most difficult civil claims. We understand how painful and traumatic a dog attack can be and do everything we can to improve our clients’ recoveries. Our goal is to provide personalized, comprehensive legal representation that maximizes our client’s recovery in every case we accept.
When you choose Attorney Mike McLachlan as your Torrance, CA dog bite injury attorney, our team will get to know you and learn how the incident has impacted your life. We will thoroughly explore all available options when it comes to compensation for your injuries and help you prepare for the legal proceedings ahead.
Liability for Dog Bite Injuries
California upholds a strict liability law when it comes to injuries inflicted on dogs. This law states that a dog owner is strictly liable for any and all injuries their dog inflicts on another person regardless of whether the owner knew the dog could attack. There are two possible defenses for a dog owner facing liability for injuries caused by their pet. They may either claim the victim antagonized or provoked the dog into attacking or that the victim was trespassing on private property when the attack occurred.
If the victim did nothing to provoke the dog and was lawfully present where the attack occurred, the dog owner will have no other option but to absorb liability for the victim’s damages.
Damages and Compensation in Dog Bite Cases
A dog bite case is a type of personal injury claim. California plaintiffs in personal injury cases can claim various types of damages, including:
- Medical expenses, both immediate and future. Dog bites can cause severe soft tissue injuries, broken bones, and puncture wounds. If a dog knocked the victim to the ground, the incident may also cause traumatic brain damage or other injuries.
- Lost earnings, including lost future earnings if a dog attack leaves a victim unable to work in the future.
- Property damage, in the event the dog attack damaged or destroyed the victim’s property.
- Pain and suffering. A dog bite can be an incredibly painful and traumatic experience. California state law allows victims to receive compensation for these intangible damages.
- Punitive damages in the event the dog owner deliberately encouraged or commanded their dog to attack the victim.
Depending on the severity of the attack, the victim could potentially secure a sizeable case award. One of the most important factors in any personal injury case is the attorney representing the plaintiff. A good dog bite injury lawyer can help their client navigate complex legal statutes and clearly prove their damages.
Succeeding With Your Dog Bite Injury Claim
Any personal injury claim comes down to the legal concept of negligence, or one party’s failure to exercise reasonable care. California’s strict liability rule for dog bites and their owners places a duty of care on every dog owner to prevent their pets from attacking others. If a dog owner fails to prevent such an incident, even if they had no idea their dog could attack someone, they will be liable for the victim’s damages.
Success with any personal injury claim hinges on the plaintiff and their attorney’s ability to prove that the defendant named in the claim was negligent in handling their dog and is therefore responsible for the plaintiff’s claimed damages. The plaintiff’s attorney must provide clear evidence not only of the full extent of the plaintiff’s damages but also causation between the defendant’s negligence and those damages.
Start Building Your Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Dog Bite in Torrance
California upholds a two-year statute of limitations on all personal injury claims. This means that a dog bite victim has two years from the date of the attack to file a civil action against the dog’s owner. While this sounds like a long time, the reality is that the sooner you begin working on your case with a Torrance personal injury attorney, the better your chances are of securing the recovery you need.
If you are ready to discuss your options for legal recourse after another person’s dog has injured you, meet with a Torrance, CA dog bite injury lawyer as soon as possible. The team at McLachlan Law, APC is ready to help you clarify your legal options and prepare you for the proceedings you face so you can approach your injury claim with more confidence. Contact McLachlan Law, APC today to schedule a case evaluation with our team. We will help you understand your options and what to expect as your case unfolds.