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Dogs are generally domesticated and trained house pets and guard dogs. Due to their loyalty to their owners, dogs are branded as man’s best friend. However, this holds true mostly if you are the owner of the dog. Some dogs may not be as docile as others—especially when you are a stranger. Also, some dog owners breed dogs for sport and even train them to be more aggressive than your average house pet. Hence, it is always to your advantage to use caution in petting or even approaching dogs that are not familiar to you. In any event, if you are bitten or attacked by a dog due to the fault or negligence of the dog owner or possessor, then you have a right to seek damages for your injuries.
There are a lot of reasons why dogs attack. Usually, dogs bite when they become startled; when they are sick or of poor health; when they have been conditioned by the owner or trainer to attack on command; or even when they are experiencing trauma or depression. However, regardless of the dog breed—whether it be a Rottweiler or a Chihuahua—or the propensity of the dog to attack people, the owner or possessor is usually held responsible for the dog bite regardless if they are negligent or not. This rule holds true in California, where the dog attack does not even need to lead to broken skin or bite marks for the dog owner to be charged or held accountable. It is enough that the dog rips a piece of your garment during the attack—according to California dog bite laws, the dog owner is already liable.
In a dog bite attack, aside from the pain of puncture wounds and the unsightly scar marks due to the bites, you may also suffer internal physical damage, and even emotional and psychological pain and suffering. Treatments for all your injuries, pain and suffering, and other losses can reach in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, depending on the seriousness of the dog attack and the gravity of your injuries. Hence, in the event of an animal bite or dog bite incident, the best thing to do is seek help from a highly experienced personal injury attorney.
How to Seek Damages for Your Dog Bite Injuries
If you are attacked, mauled, or bitten by a dog, you should know that you have a right to seek damages against the dog’s owner or caretaker.
In California, you don’t need to show any actual bite wounds in order to make the owner of the dog liable for any injuries related to the attack. According to the laws of this state, the dog owner is liable even if the dog did not even break the skin of the victim. As long as the dog bite victim had any part of their body gripped by the dog’s teeth, the owner is considered liable. The statute also dictates that the owner is still held accountable whether the attack happens out in public or on private property—as long as the victim is legally allowed to be on the said property.
As a victim of a dog bite, you have a right to seek damages for:
- Property damage relating to repair or replacement of personal properties affected during the dog attack;
- Medical costs for your examinations, evaluations, and treatments, which may include surgeries and post-operative care for puncture wounds, scratches, and other internal injuries;
- Future medical bills for recommended treatments post-discharge like further chiropractic care and treatments of scars;
- Lost wages due to absence from or inability to do work resulting from injuries suffered from the dog bite;
- The accident is the direct or proximate cause of your damages and injuries.
- Emotional pain and psychological trauma from being attacked or mauled by an animal
- Punitive damages in instances where it is proven that the party at fault acted with gross negligence or complete disregard of the welfare of others.
Treatments of Dog Attack Injuries
Aside from scratches, bruises, contusions, and wounds inflicted by dog attacks, you can even suffer spine injuries, fractures, head injury, and even brain injury while trying to escape the animal. Treatments of these injuries can be very costly. Hence, aside from the usual x-rays, MRIs, lab tests, neurological tests, chiropractic care, physical therapy treatments, orthopedic treatments, and even epidural injections and surgeries, you may also need psychological evaluations in order to address the emotional trauma and psychological pain that you are likely to suffer because of the incident. With all these traumatic experiences, you deserve nothing less than the best animal bite lawyers in Los Angeles.
Find a Los Angeles Dog Bite Attorney
In a dog bite claim, like any other personal injury claim, the evidence is required from the complainant to show proof of the liability of the other party. This is why you should never negotiate on your own because you are not an expert at obtaining and presenting the right evidence to support your claims. If you are serious in claiming the maximum compensation you deserve against the dog owner, it is in your best interest to seek proper legal advice and representation from some of the best dog bite lawyers in Los Angeles, as they have decades of experience in negotiating and litigating personal injury claims relating to serious dog bites and animal attacks.