Dog bites occur every day in California, injuring countless children and adults. If you’ve suffered an injury as a result of a dog bite or attack, you may be eligible to recover substantial financial compensation for damages such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.
Dog bites can occur naturally when the animal is being playful, not necessarily attempting to harm another human. Dog bites can also occur when a leashed dog jumps at an unsuspecting victim, or a loose dog may attack anyone that it feels is a threat. Dogs that play in their backyards could escape, or the owner might not keep hold of the leash while walking in public. Or, someone visiting a private residence – like a plumber, meter reader, HVAC repairman, carpenter, or gardener – could be attacked when a dog is not restrained properly.
In the City of Long Beach, local pet laws apply to all dog owners. Under the municipal code, you must keep your dog on a leash in public at all times. The only exceptions are dog parks and private property. Aggressive dogs are not permitted in public areas, and dog owners are legally responsible for any damage their pet causes.
Dog bite victims can sue for damages because the animal owner is liable under the Long Beach code. California is even more strict, applying “strict liability” to such cases. Under California law, dog owners are also responsible for taking reasonable steps to “remove the danger of a future attack” if their dog has previously bitten a human. The owner must control the dog and prevent bites or attacks. regardless of the dog’s history (or the owner’s knowledge of that history).
Contact DLG at (866) 261 7773 for more information or to schedule a consultation. While speaking with a member of the legal team, you will learn about the estimated total value of your claim and how much financial compensation you might recover via settlement or trial.
An exception to this rule is when a victim unlawfully accesses someone’s property and is attacked by a dog.
While you are allowed to sue, California uses comparative negligence to determine the damages you might receive. If you were to receive $500,000 in a judgment, the state can reduce that number by a percentage correlating to any responsibility you may have had for the attack. This is one example of why it is often advisable to hire a private attorney to handle your dog bite case, as proving fault can be an arduous endeavor.
Working with a Long Beach dog bite lawyer at Dordulian Law Group can help you prove your case and ensure you recover any eligible financial damages.
Calculating the total value of your dog bite lawsuit depends on the extent of your injuries and your financial losses. Filing a claim can help you recover medical expenses as well as any future medical care. Dog attacks can be vicious, and the recovery process could last for many years. Recovering all financial losses is essential to ensuring a full recovery.
You might miss work because of the attack, and you may be eligible recover your lost income. If you lose your job or cannot go back to work, your Long Beach dog bite lawyer from Dordulian Law Group will fight to determine how much money you could have earned if the dog never attacked you.
If an owner maliciously allowed a dog to attack you, we may seek punitive damages for such wanton disregard for another life. These damages can be especially helpful in personal injury cases because they are not capped under state law.
When someone dies due to a dog bite or attack, the decedent’s family has every right to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost income, lost companionship, burial costs, administrative fees, and more.
Dog bites are compensable whether the resulting injuries are minor or major. Given California law, you must prove that the dog owner did not have control over their dog, the dog injured you on the date you allege the attack occurred, and the owner’s negligence resulted in the attack. Dordulian Law Group understands how to craft a legal strategy to ensure you recover all available compensation for any physical or emotional injuries, as well as any financial losses.
Evidence from the day of the attack can be extremely helpful when presenting your case. Photos or videos of injuries, eyewitness information, and medical records are all important pieces of evidence that should be shared with your attorney. To ensure your case is properly presented, our investigators – including a 30-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department – will speak to the owner of the dog, interview people in the area, and research the dog’s history, and licensure before proceeding. We do our homework to present a case that will allow for a maximum financial damages award on your behalf.
California is the state with the highest number of dog bites and attacks. The American Veterinary Medical Association states that there are around 4.5 million dog bites every year, and around 20% of those attacks send the victim to the hospital. State Farm Insurance reportedly processed 488 claims for dog attacks in California alone in 2017, out of 3600 nationwide.
Injuries suffered during a dog attack are different from the injuries you might suffer in a car accident, slip and fall, or construction accident. When you are bitten by a dog, you may suffer an injury that leads to emotional trauma, an infection, or various other complications. Moreover, dogs that bite typically do so repeatedly. Some common dog attack injuries include:
Due to the potential severity of a dog attack, your injuries can be long-lasting and at times permanent. If the dog can reach your neck, you could be paralyzed. You may suffer from amputations that become necessary because your extremities were so badly damaged. While you may require physical therapy for such injuries, you may also require psychological therapy to cope with your anxiety and depression after the accident, up to and including an intense fear of dogs.
You do not recover money in a criminal trial, and an acquittal in a criminal trial does not mean you cannot win compensation in a civil case. In a civil trial, you are only proving that the owner was negligent in allowing the dog bite to occur or causing the dog to attack.
A criminal trial cites specific laws the defendant has violated, and the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. When you work with a Long Beach dog bite lawyer at DLG, we build a case for a civil trial demonstrating that the defendant is most likely responsible. In the unlikely event that you are asked to testify during a criminal trial, speak to your attorney regarding how to best protect your interests.
You have two years from the date of a dog bite or attack to file a lawsuit for damages against an individual at-fault party. However, if the dog was owned, trained, or controlled by a government agency, you only have six months to file a claim. The agency has 45 days to respond to your claim.
Possibly. A health insurance plan can pay for some of your medical care, but it cannot pay for all your damages. Even if the owner of the dog has insurance, the policy likely does not have the value required to pay for any catastrophic injuries that might occur during a dog attack. Fighting with an insurance company makes it difficult for you to focus on your recovery, and your injuries may take considerable time to heal. Filing a lawsuit with help from a Long Beach dog bite lawyer at Dordulian Law Group is often the best course of action to take.
For additional information or to schedule a free consultation with a Long Beach dog bite lawyer, call Dordulian Law Group at 562-502-8822 or contact us online. Our Founding President and Managing Attorney, Samuel Dordulian, is a former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County who has spent his career fighting for victims who are injured through no fault of their own.
“I spoke with Tracy and I am just so amazed with how professional and polite she was. She let me explain my case and was really quick with getting me a response from the attorney. I am very pleased with the service I received from her.”
DLG utilizes a deep understanding of local laws and statutes to determine who is liable for incidents such as dog bites. A dog attack is most often not an accident, and victims should bring their cases forward as soon as possible after receiving medical care for any injuries. DLG’s Chief Investigator, Moses Castillo, will conduct a thorough investigation and help uncover as many facts as possible related to the incident.
DLG has an extensive legal team available to help anyone in the Long Beach-area recover maximum compensation after a dog bite or dog attack. If you were injured or lost a loved one to a dog attack, do not hesitate to ask for help and pursue justice. You deserve to be compensated and recover – physically, financially, and emotionally – after a dog bite injury.
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