Bakersfield Dog Bite Attorneys
Bakersfield Dog Bite Attorneys
It goes without saying that getting attacked by an aggressive dog is a traumatic experience that can leave both physical and psychological scars. If you or someone in your family was bitten, you may be entitled to compensation. Our dog bite lawyers in Bakersfield can help you pursue damages from the dog’s owner and/or any other parties who might have been liable for the attack. Even if the at-fault party has insurance, you can expect the adjuster to search for reasons to reduce the value of your claim or to deny it outright. Our attorneys can protect your case and make sure you don’t settle for anything less than you deserve. Call us today at 1-800-GO-HARRIS for a free consultation.
What Evidence Might Contribute to My Dog Bite Claim?
Although there are several parties who may be liable for a dog bite, most of these claims are brought against the dog’s owner. To prevail in such a claim, the following elements must be proven:
- The defendant was the owner of the dog at the time of the attack;
- The victim was attacked while on public property or while lawfully on private property;
- The victim suffered an injury due to an actual bite that occurred during the attack;
- The dog caused the injury; and
- The types of damages incurred and their value.
There are many reasons why the owner of a dog might deny liability for a bite. Often, a dog owner will try to assert that they were not negligent and therefore shouldn’t be responsible for covering the victim’s medical bills and other damages. For example, the owner might say that the dog escaped their property even though there was adequate fencing, or that the dog bite happened at a park where using a leash was not required. Negligence, however, usually does not need to be proven in order to hold a dog owner liable for a bite because strict liability applies to many dog bite cases in California. Strict liability means liability can be imposed without a finding of fault. This law differentiates California from other states that have the “one-bite rule,” which stipulates that the owner may not be held liable if their dog had not bitten anyone or displayed vicious tendencies in the past. In California, a dog owner can be held strictly liable for a bite even if the animal had never attacked anyone before. When you hire one of our dog bite lawyers in Bakersfield, we will launch an immediate investigation to collect all available evidence of liability. Strong evidence is the key to overcoming liability disputes and avoiding unnecessary complications and delays. We will also gather evidence of causation and damages. Depending on the circumstances, the following evidence might contribute to the strength of your case:
- Veterinary Records: Your attorney may have to file a subpoena to obtain the dog’s veterinary records. These records should name the dog’s owner, and they might provide information about the dog’s specific breed, which can be useful if the defendant’s home insurance or renters insurance company wrongly asserts that the particular breed is not covered under the policy.
- The Police Report: If you contacted law enforcement after the bite, the police report might help your lawyer prove liability and causation.
- Pictures of Bite Marks: These photos may be used to prove the severity of your injuries.
- Medical Records: Documentation from your healthcare providers will be needed to prove the cost of medical care. Such records can also demonstrate that you’ve taken reasonable steps to facilitate your recovery—i.e. that you’ve been mitigating your damages. If you visit a doctor immediately after the attack, your records could also help your dog bite lawyer prove causation.
- Financial Records: Any documentation of your income can be used to pursue wages you have lost due to the attack.
- Video Footage: Recordings from nearby surveillance cameras or cellphones might help your attorney prove liability and causation.
- Personal Injury Journal: Keeping daily entries about your symptoms and recovery can demonstrate the existence and severity of non-economic damages like pain and suffering and lost enjoyment in life.
- Deposition from Your Treating Physician: Such deposition might be used to prove the severity of your injuries and the expected trajectory of your recovery.
- Deposition from Loved Ones: Your lawyer might depose close friends, family, and/or colleagues to prove how the injuries are affecting your life and wellbeing.
- Eyewitness Testimony: The deposition of people who saw the attack might be used to corroborate your version of events.
Discuss Your Case with a Bakersfield Dog Bite Lawyer Today
Our dog bite attorneys will do everything in their power to help you pursue the highest possible compensation for medical bills and any other damages you have suffered as a result of the attack. Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS or message us online to arrange a free consultation.