Fountain Valley Dog Bite Attorneys
Fountain Valley Dog Bite Attorneys
Dogs are the most popular pets in the country, and California doesn’t buck the trend. Loyal, affectionate, and energetic, it is easy to see why many families have a pup or two in tow. However, even the most docile breed can turn dangerous. If you were injured by someone’s pet, it may be in your best interests to discuss the attack with our Fountain Valley dog bite attorneys. From animal attacks to road accidents to wrongful deaths, our legal team has decades of collective experience overseeing claims in Fountain Valley and the surrounding areas. We have helped secure millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients. Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS to discuss your case with a lawyer.
What Factors Could Affect the Value of My Animal Attack Claim?
When a dog attacks, the results can be devastating. Bites can lead to disfigurement, permanent scarring, and tremendous pain. Some injuries could take weeks or months to heal, leaving victims unable to work or tackle tasks around the home. Fortunately, you may be able to recover these losses and many others by filing a personal injury suit. Dog owners have a responsibility to ensure that their loyal companions do not pose a threat to others. If, for instance, the owner failed to adequately restrain their pup and this led to the attack, you may have grounds for a claim. The potential recovery in your case can depend on a range of factors such as:
- The Permanence of Your Injuries: Even smaller breeds can do serious damage when they attack. From tearing through fingers to breaking bones, dog bites can lead to long-term or permanent injuries. As such, the longer it takes you to recover from the attack, the greater your potential settlement will likely be.
- Limitations Stemming from Your Injuries: Has the attack left you unable to work? Have your injuries inhibited your ability to perform everyday tasks such as tackling household chores or taking care of your kids? Are you unable to engage in physical activity or attend social events due to your injuries? The degree to which your condition disrupts your normal routines could have a major influence on the potential recovery in your claim. For instance, if your injuries make it impossible to return to your old job, you may be able to pursue damages for both past and future lost wages.
- Punitive Damages: If there is clear evidence that the dog owner behaved egregiously or extremely recklessly, you may be awarded punitive damages. Ultimately, the judge or jury will have the final say on whether to introduce such damages.
- Your Personal Degree of Liability: If it can be shown that you played some role in causing the attack—for instance, you deliberately provoked the animal—or that your own actions contributed to your damages, your financial award may be reduced. For example, if your primary care physician instructed you to abstain from physical activity until your injuries have healed, but you ignored their orders, the opposing party may assert that you caused your condition to worsen. In such situations, you may be held liable for the additional damages.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Filing an Animal Attack Claim
Most of life’s everyday errors can be remedied with a carefully worded apology and a dozen roses. However, slipups in a dog bite case are not as easy to patch over. From the moment you are attacked, you need to be aware that anything you say or do could be used as evidence to challenge your case. Here are a few mistakes you should avoid while your claim is pending:
- Ignoring Your Doctor’s Orders: If you have been instructed to book time off work to rest, you may think your healthcare provider is being overly cautious. However, even if you feel ready to get back on track, you should never go against your doctor’s orders. Any signs that you failed to comply with your doctor’s instructions could be weaponized against your claim. For instance, an opposing party may argue that your negligent actions caused your condition to worsen and led your recovery to stall. As such, your financial award may be reduced by a percentage reflecting your level of liability.
- Providing a Recorded Statement: After the attack, the insurer may contact you to get a recorded statement. On the surface, it may seem like an innocent request. The representative may even assure you that it is just an opportunity to get “your side of the story”. However, anything you say during this interview could be misrepresented or quoted out of context to dispute aspects of your claim. For instance, you may inadvertently downplay your injuries, giving the claims adjuster ammunition to assert that your condition is not as serious as your attorney is claiming. Rather than risk saying something that might compromise your claim, you should let your attorney handle all dialogue with the insurer and opposing parties.
- Discussing the Attack Online: After a dog attack, your emotions are likely running high. Talking with family and friends is a helpful way to process your feelings and make sense of this harrowing experience. However, you should never have these conversations online. The insurance company may be monitoring your social media profiles for any posts that could be used to challenge your case. As such, discussing the attack, your injuries, or the claim itself on these platforms could give opposing parties a window to dispute liability and damages. At HPI, we may advise you deactivate your accounts until your claim is resolved.
Contact Us Today to Speak to a Fountain Valley Dog Bite Attorney
If you were hurt in an animal attack, turn to our attorneys for advice, support, and representation. We are available to take your calls 24/7. Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS or make use of our Contact Page to connect with our legal team.