Maison Law represents California bicyclists who have been bitten by dogs. Our California Dog Bite Lawyers assist victims in getting the support they need to make a full recovery so they can get back on their bikes again. In these situations, California law holds dog owners liable. Please contact us after an accident involving a dog bite for a free, no-obligation consultation for you and your family. It’s a no-risk opportunity to find out what your case may be worth and how to hold dog owners responsible.
Do I Need a Lawyer After Getting Bit by a Dog While Riding a Bike?
If your injury ends up being serious, perhaps involving broken bones, torn ligaments, or a deep puncture wound, you should speak to a skilled California dog bite lawyer.
The hospital bills can quickly pile up when your wound is more than just a few cuts or bruises. Insurance companies can see the totals on care and become reluctant to accept full responsibility for a dog owner. They’ll look for any excuse to deny a dog bite claim. A lawyer protects you from these tactics and fights to maximize your injury claim so that you don’t have to worry about how you’ll pay your doctor bills.
Who Is Responsible After a Dog Bite on a Bicyclist?
California is a “strict liability” dog bite state. It means that in most cases, dog owners are held responsible when their pets bite. That’s true even if the dog has no history of biting incidents.
This clear-cut law makes it much easier to determine who is liable after a bicyclist is bitten by a dog. The liable party would usually be the dog owner.
Dog owners are responsible for bite injuries except in these and a few other circumstances:
- The victim can’t have been trespassing.
- The victim must not have provoked the dog.
- The victim must have suffered a bite. That can include a bite that doesn’t break the skin but causes damage internally from the crushing force.
A dog attack that doesn’t involve a bite wound, such as a fall off a bicycle caused by a dog, isn’t covered under strict liability. However, an injury without a bite can still leave victims eligible to earn substantial compensation.
In these cases, the burden of proof for those injuries will be higher. In other words, you’d have to show stronger proof that those non-bite injuries were indeed caused by the dog’s actions and the owner’s negligence.
Maison Law can collect evidence that shows the fault of a dog owner and assist you in maximizing your dog bite settlement check.
Filing a Claim After a California Dog Bite
California has the weather and the scenery to encourage anyone to hop on a bike. Unfortunately, a loose dog or a dog owner who’s not in control of a leashed pet can end a ride with a painful bite wound.
Dogs sometimes get tempted to chase bicyclists. They can grab a hand and do severe damage. They may snap at an ankle or a calf. A dog could knock someone from a bicycle and then inflict a bite.
You or a family member may face thousands of dollars in medical bills, surgeon fees, and physical therapy costs. After you decide to move forward with a dog bite claim, it’s important to understand what the process looks like.
When you file your claim, you’ll likely file against the dog owner’s homeowners or renter’s insurance company. The claims process in a bite claim includes the following:
- Filing a claim with the owner’s insurance – You’ll file a claim, and your lawyer will back it up with strong evidence of the dog owner’s liability. The claim also includes a list of every hardship the victim has endured physically, emotionally, and financially.
- Negotiating a settlement – The insurance company may offer you a settlement to resolve your claim. A California Bicycle Dog Bite Lawyer can help you evaluate the offer and negotiate for a fair settlement that covers all of your damages.
- Filing a lawsuit – If you are unable to reach a settlement with the insurance company, you may need to file a lawsuit against the dog owner to recover available benefits. Maison Law will have already built a strong case to present to a judge and jury. Most personal injury cases don’t go to trial. When a lawsuit is threatened, insurance companies work harder to make the victim happy with a fair settlement offer. Insurers want to avoid the cost and the bad publicity of having to go to court.
What Kind of Support Can I Earn in a Dog Bite Claim?
Your lawyer also makes sure you don’t leave any of your damages off your claim. This is critical because anything left out won’t contribute to the total of your dog bite settlement check.
Your lawyer will demand total reimbursement for every medical cost you face during recovery. But many other factors should earn you support.
This is just a brief list of some of the factors that can earn compensation:
- Hospital and rehabilitation expenses.
- Lifelong support for a permanent disability or a dog bite permanent disfigurement.
- Physical pain.
- Emotional distress, such as depression and anxiety. You might have PTSD symptoms after going through an attack and have uncontrollable fear around any dog.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
- Replacement of income lost while the cyclist can’t return to work.
- Damage or destruction of property.
- Wrongful death benefits. Families who lose a loved one to a dog attack can file a wrongful death claim against an at-fault dog owner’s insurance provider. This claim asks for help with funeral costs and remaining medical bills. It also seeks future support for the guidance and income the victim can no longer provide the family.
Contact a California Bicycle Dog Bite Lawyer
California provides cyclists who suffer dog bites up to two years to bring a claim against a dog owner. But injured bicyclists should act quickly. A lawyer should be notified soon so they can collect fresh evidence and have a chance to track down witnesses.
Maison Law of California provides free case consultations to all cyclists who can no longer ride due to a serious dog bite. Schedule your free case review today. It’s a no-risk way to determine how to hold dog owners responsible for dog bites and how to maximize your compensation from an insurance provider. Our California Dog Bite Attorneys make sure victims have the money they need to pay for the best care available so they can return to their bike rides as soon as possible.