California is a place where the great outdoors plays a big part in our lives. Some people choose to experience that famous California sunshine with their dogs right by their side. It’s easy to see why some people don’t want to be indoors or out without their pups.
Dog ownership brings with it a lot of amazing benefits, not to mention companionship, but it’s important to remember that dog owners also have a duty to keep other people safe. Dogs can be aggressive or just plain scared and suddenly bite someone. These bites can do real damage to the old and young alike.
Finding Help After a Dog Bite in California
You may find yourself in shock after receiving a bite or bites from a dog. After you are treated and are safe, you can also start to think about the costs of your medical care and how long your recovery will take. You could be off your feet or unable to use an injured hand and unable to return to work.
Hospital bills and lost wages can quickly leave you in financial ruin. That’s why it’s important to make sure the proper parties are held accountable for your injury and insurance companies are called upon to help you in a time of need.
At Maison Law, we specialize in California Law and practice to make sure innocent victims are protected after they’ve been injured. Contact us for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your dog bite case. Tell us what happened to you so that we can help effectively demand help with your hardships.
Dog Bite Dangers
Residents in The Golden State love sharing their lives with dogs and we do too. Unfortunately, California has a bad record on dog bites. In State Farm’s ranking of the worst states for bite cases, they ranked California as number one.
The undesirable honor comes from their tracking of California’s 468 dog bite injury-related claims in 2017. Those incidents resulted in 18.7 million dollars in insurance compensation being paid to victims. The next highest state, Illinois, only reported 318 dog bite claims with a payout of 12.6 million dollars to victims.
The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported that there are almost 4.5 million dog bites in the U.S. each year. And somewhere around a third of all homeowner’s liability insurance claims are dog-bite-related. They also highlighted statistics that show that Los Angeles Mail Carriers suffer more dog bites than postal workers in any other U.S. city.
Dog Bite Statutes in California
So are owners liable if you end up getting bit by their dog? In many states, a dog has to have shown aggressive tendencies before your attack for the dog owner to be held liable for your injuries. California uses a different set of guidelines.
In our state, the dog’s owner is responsible for your injury even if it’s the dog’s first time biting someone or first time showing aggression.
California does require that two factors also be true to enforce liability:
- The owner can be held liable if the attack occurred in a public place or on private property if the victim was invited onto the property.
- The victim must not have provoked the dog into the attack.
Dog Owners and Insurance Coverage
If owners are held responsible for the bite their home insurance policy can be called upon to provide relief to the victim from all of their hardships. If owners do not have insurance that covers these cases, a lawsuit to get the owners to pay for damages out of their own pockets can be considered.
Dog attack insurance coverage can have a very low cap on the compensation you can receive. It means you might not be able to win enough in an insurance settlement to cover all of your medical treatment. If this is the case, it can be important to hold other parties liable.
These claims can use premises liability laws to hold property owners accountable. A landlord who rents a home or apartment to the dog owner may be able to be included in a lawsuit. Business owners or employers who allow dogs in the workplace can be held liable when there’s an attack.
Contact a California Dog Bite Lawyer
After a dog bites you or a loved one, make sure you are not left with thousands of dollars in medical bills over a scary incident that was someone else’s fault. It can easily happen if you don’t have an experienced California attorney protecting you from irresponsible dog-owners and insurance agents who will be working to discredit your injury so they can save money.
After a bite, contact an experienced Dog Bite Lawyer such as Martin Gasparian for a free and confidential case evaluation. Mr. Gasparian takes a hands-on approach to every case and works to help victims get their lives back on track as quickly as possible without the worry of financial burdens.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I get a lawyer if my child was bitten by a dog?
Yes. Children are the most at risk for dog bites and they can be badly injured by any size dog. An attorney can investigate the owner and the dog’s histories and the scene of the attack to help build a strong case that can earn the compensation needed to help the child recover physically and emotionally.
How long do I have to file a dog bite injury claim in California?
You have two years to file. Victims or their families have up to 24 months from the date of the attack to file a claim over the injuries. You may think you can wait for a while, but it’s vital to file your claim as soon as possible while evidence is still fresh and witnesses are still easily located.
What kind of things can I get compensation for after a dog bite?
You can get all medical care now and any care needed in the future covered. Any disability or disfigurement from the attack can also factor into the amount you receive. Your lost wages while you’ve had to miss work can be reimbursed. Your travel costs to doctors and specialists can be covered.