Being attacked by a dog is a terrifying experience that can affect you physically, mentally, and financially.
It’s estimated that more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States, with over 800,000 requiring medical assistance. Many of these injured victims don’t realize that they have the legal right to claim damages.
If you are searching online for the “best dog bite lawyer in Los Angeles near me,” contact the Weinberg Law Offices.
We have years of experience assisting injured victims in pursuing claims for financial compensation. We understand how dog bite claims work and the tactics insurance companies use to avoid paying out.
Understandably, you may feel lost working through the process of properly documenting your claim and preserving evidence. If you bring a claim, you may not be successful without the assistance of a skilled Los Angeles dog bite lawyer.
What to Do Following a Dog Bite
Following a dog bite injury, the steps you take are essential and can impact your claim. Here are some of the most important things to remember.
Was the dog owner present when the attack happened? If so, you need to get contact information, including potential insurance coverage. If there are any witnesses, be sure to get their contact information.
Depending on how severe your injuries are, you should get photos at the scene. You should take pictures of your injuries, if possible, and the surrounding area where the attack happened.
Seek Medical Treatment
Seeking timely medical treatment is crucial. You should see a doctor right away to assess your wound. If your injury is severe, call for emergency response assistance at the scene. Your health is the most important thing. You may need a rabies shot, especially if you do not know the dog that bit you.
Don’t underestimate dog bite wounds. Even seemingly minor puncture wounds can become infected with bacteria from a dog’s mouth. Some bites may require stitches to prevent further injuries.
Be sure to follow all doctor’s orders regarding treatment protocols. Take any prescribed medications. If you start experiencing other pain or infection, schedule another appointment right away.
Waiting to seek medical treatment can also impact your potential recovery in a personal injury claim. The defendant’s insurance company may argue that you contributed to your injury by delaying treatment or say that it was not their insured dog.
Report the Dog Bite
Report the bite to your local animal control services and the dog owner’s insurance company. Do not speak with the dog owner about the incident. The dog owner’s insurance company may ask you to give a recorded statement.
You should not provide a written statement or be recorded by the insurance company or dog owner without a Los Angeles dog bite injury lawyer representing you.
Liability in a California Dog Bite Case
Under California law, dog owners are liable for damages suffered by another person bitten by their dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place. However, there are some instances where you don’t have a right to bring a claim. One example is where the dog carries out police work or military duties.
A dog owner cannot escape liability by claiming they did not know the dog was previously violent. Owners are responsible for any bites regardless of whether their dog has not been aggressive or bit someone before.
This law applies only in situations where the dog bit you. General negligence laws would apply if the dog jumped on you or knocked you down, which requires additional analysis. Your Los Angeles dog bite lawyer will review your case and determine which laws apply.
Types of Potential Compensation in a California Dog Bite Case
Your potential compensation will depend on your circumstances and injuries. Some of the most common types of payment in dog bite claims include:
- Medical expenses to date,
- Future expected medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Future loss of earning capacity,
- Pain and suffering, and
- Emotional trauma.
The amount you could receive from the defendants is directly related to the severity of your injury and the strength of your case. You need a skilled Los Angeles dog bite injury lawyer on your side to ensure you are asking for total compensation.
Insurance companies won’t tell you that you could be asking for more if you fail to include it in your demand. For example, you may need scar revision surgery in the future.
If you don’t know to ask for it, the defendant’s insurance company isn’t going to tell you that your case could be worth more. Their top priority is to minimize any potential payout in your claim. That’s why you need a legal advocate looking out for you.
Why Hire a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer in Los Angeles?
Because dog bite cases can be complicated, you must consider hiring the best dog bite lawyer in Los Angeles. Having a skilled lawyer representing you means your claim will be handled correctly from the start.
The legal team at the Weinberg Law Offices has handled numerous dog bite cases. We can protect your rights and help you fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
We will conduct an independent investigation and preserve evidence in your case. Your attorney also handles all communications with the defendant’s insurance company, including settlement negotiations. You should be concentrating on recovering from your injuries, not the stress of fighting the insurance company for financial compensation.
If necessary, we will also hire experts for your case. You may need a medical doctor to testify about your prognosis and future medical treatment. In severe cases, it may be necessary to bring in a financial expert who can estimate your future loss of earning capacity.
Statute of Limitations in Dog Bite Cases
As with other types of personal injury claims, you have only a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in California. In general, the filing deadline for dog bites is two years from the accident date. However, there may be some exceptions to that deadline.
Should you fail to file within California’s statute of limitations period, the court will likely dismiss your case. That means you are likely to be legally barred from any financial recovery.
Two years might seem like a long time, but it’s easy to miss the deadline inadvertently. When you have a Los Angeles dog bite lawyer representing you, they will ensure a lawsuit is filed timely.
Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer in Los Angeles, California
If you sustained injuries from a dog bite, you could be missing out on compensation for your injuries. Don’t attempt to handle your case alone. Let the skilled legal team at the Weinberg Law Offices assist you.
We will fight tirelessly to protect your rights. We aren’t afraid to take a case to trial either. Let us put our years of personal injury experience to work for you. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation.