LOS ANGELES DOG BITE LAWYER
About 4.7 million Americans are injured as a result of dog bites and attacks each year. Getting attacked by any breed of dog, small or big, can be a traumatic experience resulting in both physical and mental injuries. In most cases, an attack or dog bite is unexpected, catching victims off guard and unsure of what steps to take afterward. Children are amongst the most vulnerable groups of individuals to be seriously or fatally injured by dogs. Most dog bites and attacks are caused by a neighbor’s or a family member’s dog.
If you or a loved one was injured by a dog bite or attack, you need to consult with the experienced dog bite lawyers at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates to hold the responsible parties liable and help you get the full compensation you deserve. There are no upfront, out-of-pocket costs to our clients. Our legal team will aggressively fight for the settlement that you deserve and will help you get through this difficult period. With multiple offices located in Los Angeles, El Segundo, Irvine, San Diego, and Riverside, our dog bite injury lawyers represent dog bite victims across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary case consultation with an attorney, please call 949-873-0755.
California Law on Dog Bite and Attack Cases
Dog attacks and bites can happen without any provocation. Seemingly gentle dogs can turn aggressive in a split second. Dogs can easily become violent if they feel cornered, threatened, or see sudden movement. Some dogs don’t even need a reason for the attack and may not even have a history of aggression.
Under California Civil Code Section 3342, otherwise known as the Dog Bite Statute, a dog owner is responsible for any injuries caused by their 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 their dog’s actions, even if it has never displayed the propensity to bite or attack or have engaged in such actions. This is known as a “strict liability” statute and holds true so long as the victim is:
- In a public place;
- Lawfully on private property; or
- 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 significantly impact all aspects of your life, physically, emotionally, and mentally. The Los Angeles dog bite attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas understand the law and are prepared to fight for your legal rights after an attack.
Statute of Limitations for Dog Bites & Attacks
Under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1, victims of dog bites and dog attacks only have two years from the dog bite in which to file a personal injury claim. This is called the statute of limitations. Since it can take a considerable amount of time to properly investigate a dog bite claim, it is important that you immediately contact an experienced Los Angeles dog bite attorney following an attack. If you fail to file your claim within this time frame, you may be forever barred from seeking compensation for your injuries from the dog owner.
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 some exceptions, 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 for all treatments related to the bite
- Other types of rehabilitation services
- Property damage
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Any other out of pocket expenses related to the incident
- Wrongful death, if the dog bite resulted in death
The dog bite lawyers at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas will take all steps necessary to help you and your loved ones get the full money damages that you are entitled to under the law. Getting monetary compensation will not undo the harm caused, but it can bring financial relief and a sense of justice after an emotionally traumatic experience.
Common Injuries Associated with Dog Bites
Before you agree to a settlement, it is important that you understand the full extent of the injuries you suffered from the dog bite or attack. Dog bites can result in permanent disfigurement and long-lasting injuries which require expensive reconstructive surgery and long-term medical care and treatment.
Below are some common injuries associated with dog bites and/or attacks:
- Puncture wounds, abrasions and lacerations
- Broken, shattered or fractured bones
- Eye injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Face injuries
In addition to physical injuries, dog bite victims almost always suffer mental and emotional trauma as a result of the vicious dog attack or bite. It is important that all of these injuries, both physical and emotional, are factored in when your Los Angeles dog bite attorney determines the amount of settlement damages you are entitled to.
What To Do After a Dog Bite or Attack
If you or someone you know has been attacked or bitten by a dog, you need to take certain steps to protect your legal rights. Our attorneys have outlined some of the more important steps that you need to take, including:
- Identify the dog that bit or attacked 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 Los Angeles 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.
How a Dog Bite Attorney Can Help
After getting attacked or bitten by a dog, hiring an attorney might not be your top priority. It can be a frustrating, confusing time. However, without the help of an experienced Los Angeles dog bite attorney, you will not get the full compensation that you deserve. When you hire an attorney who specifically handles these types of cases, you can concentrate on the treatment of your injuries and be confident that your attorney is fully advocating on your behalf.
Dog bites are generally covered under the dog owner’s homeowner insurance policy. Trying to fight a big insurance company without any legal help could leave you with unpaid medical bills. The legal team at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas does not want that to happen. When you hire our firm, we will take all necessary steps to make sure your case is properly handled and you get the damages you deserve. Some of the steps we will take, depending on the specific facts of your dog attack case include:
- Send investigators to collect evidence
- Prove the dog was “at large” when it attacked you
- Uncover whether the dog had dangerous habits
- Hire the experts needed to prove your case
- Cover your upfront costs
- Answer all your legal questions
- Keep you up-to-date with your dog bite case
Contact an Experienced Los Angeles Dog Bite Attorney
If you or a loved one has been bitten or attacked by a dog, the legal team at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates can help. We specialize in handling dog bite injury cases. We have the experience to help you recover your lost wages, medical expenses and any other costs related to your dog bite injury.
With multiple offices located in Los Angeles, El Segundo, Irvine, San Diego, and Riverside, our dog bite injury attorneys represent dog bite victims across Southern California. The Law Offices of Samer Habbas is dedicated to helping dog bite victims receive just compensation for their dog bite injuries. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our Los Angeles dog bite attorneys, please call 949-873-0755.