Agoura Hills Personal Injury Lawyers | Accident Attorneys
Agoura Hills Dog Bite Attorneys
If you were severely bitten by a dog, you probably have a lot of questions. Do I have grounds for a personal injury claim? Is the dog owner liable? How much compensation might my case be worth? Our Agoura Hills dog bite attorneys can review your case and answer your questions in a free consultation.
We are well-versed in California dog bite statutes and case law. Our legal team has extensive experience and a track record of success in these cases. We can help you gather evidence, avoid costly mistakes, estimate a fair settlement amount, and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS for a free case review.
What If the Opposing Party Says I Instigated the Attack?
This is a common defense used in dog bite cases because if it can be shown that you instigated the attack, you might be held partially or entirely liable. California is a pure comparative negligence state. That means even if you were more than 50 percent liable, you have the right to pursue damages; however, your financial recovery will be reduced by your own percentage of fault. In other words, if it is determined that you were 20 percent liable and you incurred $20,000 in damages, you would be able to recover up to $16,000.
There are several strategies your attorney might use to counter the comparative negligence defense. Valuable evidence to strengthen your case might include:
- Eyewitness Deposition: Did anyone see the attack? Our Agoura Hills dog bite lawyers can interview them to find out if their deposition might contribute to your claim.
- Pictures of Bite Marks: Pictures of bite marks and torn clothing can shed light on the nature of the attack.
- Deposition from a Dog Expert: While there is precedent that establishes what constitutes instigating an animal attack, sometimes it is necessary to depose a dog expert regarding the events that led to a bite.
- The Dog’s History of Similar Attacks: If the dog had a history of vicious behavior, it may be easier for your lawyer to assert that the bite occurred due to the dog’s aggressive propensities and not due to your own instigation.
- Surveillance Footage: Video of the attack can provide valuable insight into how the incident happened.
- The Incident or Police Report: Perhaps the version of events provided by the dog’s owner has changed since the bite. For example, they might have decided to adjust their story to assert that you instigated the attack. In this scenario, your lawyer could review the incident or police report, if available, because it might contain statements provided by the defendant while at the scene.
What Steps Should I Take Following a Dog Bite?
Although the outcome of your case is somewhat out of your control, it is important that you take steps to give your claim the best chance of success. Below we’ve outlined what to do after being bitten by a dog:
- Report the Attack: If the incident happened on a business’ property, report the attack to a manager on duty. Be sure to file a written incident report, and request a copy. If the attack happened in a public place, call the police.
- Seek Medical Attention: You should undergo an immediate medical assessment. If you wait too long, the opposing party might argue that your injuries were caused by something else or that your own negligence has exacerbated the injuries.
- Contact a Lawyer: Our Agoura Hills dog bite attorneys can help you avoid mistakes early in the proceedings that would harm your case down the road. For instance, we can take over all dialogue with the opposing party so you don’t provide a recorded statement that leads to a dispute. We can also compile time-sensitive evidence and determine the most strategic time to enter settlement negotiations.
- Start a Personal Injury Journal: On the day of the attack, write down every detail you remember about the incident. Moving forward, you should write daily entries about your symptoms, their severity, their frequency, medication side effects, and how the injuries are diminishing your personal wellbeing.
- Avoid Social Media: Do not mention the accident or post photos of your injuries on social media. In fact, you should avoid using social media entirely until your case is resolved. The opposing party might review your online content for posts that can be used to challenge your claim.
- Follow Your Doctor’s Orders: To avoid disputes over the mitigation of damages, it is critical that you follow your doctor’s orders exactly.
Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS to Speak with a Dog Bite Lawyer in Agoura Hills
At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand how physically, emotionally, and financially devastating a serious dog attack can be. We can help you fight for the compensation you need to cover the medical costs and other damages. For a free case review, send us an email or call 1-800-GO-HARRIS.