Orange County Dog Bite Attorney
Getting attacked by any animal is a traumatizing experience. Animal attacks, especially dog bites, are almost always unexpected and cause the victim not to know how to react or what to do. Approximately 4.7 million Americans are injured as a result of dog bites or attacks each year. Children are among the most vulnerable groups of individuals to be seriously or fatally injured by dogs. The majority of dog bites are caused by a neighbor’s or a friend’s dog.
If you or a loved one was injured by a dog bite or attack, you should immediately consult the experienced Irvine lawyers at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates to determine whether you are entitled to monetary compensation. The Orange County dog bite attorneys will aggressively fight for the settlement that you deserve and will help you get through this difficult period. With multiple offices located in Irvine, Los Angeles, El Segundo, San Diego, and Riverside, our lawyers represent dog bite victims across Southern California. To schedule a free consultation with one of our dog bite attorneys, call 949-727-9300.
Establishing Liability in a Dog Bite Case
Under California Civil Code Section 3342, otherwise known as the Dog Bite Statute, a dog owner is liable for any injuries caused by his or her dog. This means that the dog owner does not need to have knowledge of his or her dog’s dangerous propensities. They are simply liable for the dog’s actions, even if it is the first time the dog has been attacked. This is considered a “strict liability” statute and holds true so long as the victim is:
- In a public place
- Lawfully on private property
- On the dog owner’s property, so long as the victim is there legally
In any of these cases, the dog owner is held liable even if, in the past, the dog had never displayed signs of aggression or acted viciously to other people or even other animals. Dog bites and attacks can have a physical, emotional, and financial impact on all aspects of your life. The Orange County attorneys at Samer Habbas & Associates have experienced dog bite lawyers that are well prepared to fight for your legal rights after an attack.
Compensation for Dog Bite Victims
Dog bites or attacks can result in serious injuries, which can also have a significant financial impact on the victim and his or her loved ones. Except for a few circumstances, a dog owner will have to reimburse or “make whole” the victim of the attack. Depending on the specific facts of your case, you may be entitled to the following types of compensation if you suffered a dog bite or attack:
- Past and future medical bills
- Property damage
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Any other out-of-pocket expenses related to the incident
The Irvine attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates will take all steps necessary to help you and your loved ones get the full compensation that you deserve. Getting monetary damages will not undo the harm caused, but it can bring financial relief and a sense of justice after an emotionally taxing experience.
What To Do After a Dog Bite or Attack
If you or a loved one is attacked or bitten by a dog, you need to take certain important steps to protect your legal rights. The Orange County lawyers at Samer Habbas & Associates have outlined some of the more important steps that you need to take, including:
- Identify the dog that bit you.
- Identify the dog’s owner. Obtain the owner’s information, including name, address, and telephone number.
- Get the name, address, and telephone number of any witnesses to the attack. Generally, dog owners will deny an attack or a bite, fearing that their dog might be taken away or put to sleep. In such cases, a witness statement or testimony will be imperative in getting you the compensation that you deserve.
- Contact Animal Services Agency or Law Enforcement to file an incident report.
- Take photographs of your wounds, bruises, and clothing.
- Obtain medical treatment.
- Contact an experienced attorney who can specifically handle these types of cases.
To fully protect your rights, you should avoid doing the following:
- Sign any documents prepared by the dog owner, landlord of the property where the bite took place, insurance representatives, or adverse attorneys.
- Not seek medical treatment.
Frequently Asked Dog Bite Questions
- Are all dog breeds covered by homeowners’ insurance? — Since there are a few dog breeds that are known to be less friendly, some insurance companies have taken the liberty of excluding them from their homeowners’ coverage. To those insurance companies, they feel those excluded breeds are deemed as “too vicious” or “too dangerous” to cover. To learn about which breeds are commonly not covered by homeowner’s insurance carriers, (read more.)
- What if I get bit by a dog on the owner’s property? — If the dog owner can prove that you trespassed onto their territory, despite clearly posted warning signs (i.e. “Beware of Dog”), you may not be entitled to the same compensation as most dog bite victims. (Read more.)
- How long do I have to file a dog bite claim? — In California, the statute of limitations to sue for a dog bite incident is two years from the date of the attack. If you have been attacked by a dog and wish to pursue legal action, contact an experienced dog bite attorney to handle your case and help get you the best compensation possible.
If you or a loved one has been bitten or attacked by a dog, the Irvine lawyers at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates can help. They specialize in handling dog bite injury cases. They have the experience to help you recover your lost wages, medical expenses, and any other costs related to your dog bite injury.
The Law Offices of Samer Habbas is dedicated to helping dog bite victims receive just compensation for their dog bite injuries. With multiple offices located in Irvine, Los Angeles, El Segundo, San Diego, and Riverside, our lawyers represent dog bite victims across Southern California. To schedule a free consultation with one of our dog bite attorneys, call 949-727-9300.