Every year in the United States, millions of people learn the hard way that dogs aren’t always man’s best friend. A serious dog bite can result in permanent scarring, infections, and even death. If you or someone you love was attacked by a dog, contact Harris Personal Injury Lawyers to find out if you have grounds for a claim.
Our Monterey dog bite attorneys will assess your case and answer your questions during a free initial consultation. If you are unable to come to us, one of our lawyers will come to you.
Dog bite claims can be incredibly complicated, but our legal team has a track record of success in these cases. We will tirelessly help you fight for the compensation you need to cover medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the attack. For more information or to schedule a free case review, call us today at 1-800-GO-HARRIS.
What Damages Might Be Recoverable in a Dog Bite Claim?
In the state of California, dog bite victims may be able to recover compensation for the following types of damages:
- Past and future healthcare expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Lost earning capacity;
- Other objectively calculable losses such as transportation and home care;
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of enjoyment of life; and
- Pain and suffering.
What Does “Strict Liability” Mean in the Context of Dog Bite Cases?
In some states, dog owners can only be held liable for attacks if their animals have bitten at least one person in the past. This is called the “one-bite” rule. But in California, dog owners can be held financially accountable even if their animals have no history of attacks.
What Do I Need to Prove for My Claim to Be Successful?
Like any other personal injury claim, there are several elements you must prove in a dog bite case to recover compensation for your damages.
These elements include:
- The defendant was the owner of the dog when the attack occurred;
- When the attack happened, the victim was on public property or was lawfully on private property; and
- The dog bite resulted in an injury.
Determining Liability After a Dog Bite in Monterey, California
In most dog bite claims, the defendant is the person who owns the dog; however, depending on the circumstances of the attack, other potentially liable parties include:
- The Landlord of the Property Where the Attack Occurred: If the landlord was aware that the dog was dangerous but did not have the tenant remove the dog from the premises, the landlord might be liable for any damages resulting from the attack. If the bite occurred on a commercial property, the landlord may also be liable in this situation because he or she had a duty to keep the premises free of hazardous conditions such as dangerous animals. If, for example, you were a customer at a business establishment and you were bitten by a dog on the premises, the landlord might be held financially accountable for your damages even if he or she was unaware that the dog was on the property.
- The Owner of the Property Where the Attack Occurred: A property owner might be held liable for an attack if a dog escapes due to a hole in the fence or another defect and bites someone.
- The Caretaker of the Dog: Some dog bites happen when a party other than the dog owner is in control of the animal. Under these circumstances, the person or business that was in control of the dog when the bite occurred may be liable for damages if he or she had “prior knowledge” that the dog was dangerous, or if he or she negligently handled or controlled the dog.
What Should I Do After Being Bitten by a Dog in Monterey County?
Your top priority after a dog bite should be to seek medical attention for your injuries. You should also take steps to put yourself in a favorable position to file a personal injury claim.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Take pictures of your injuries and the dog that attacked you;
- Visit a physician for a medical evaluation;
- Try to find the owner of the dog;
- Report the incident to the police or the local animal control agency; and
- Consult a Monterey animal attack attorney about your case.
It’s a good idea to speak with a dog bite lawyer before you talk to the insurance company. The claims adjuster has incentive to find reasons to dispute your claim, but an attorney will protect your best interests throughout the proceedings.
Discuss Your Case with a Monterey Dog Bite Attorney: Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS
If you or someone you love was severely injured in a dog attack, contact Harris Personal Injury Lawyers to find out how to proceed with your claim. We have recovered more than $300 million for clients throughout California. Dial 1-800-GO-HARRIS or fill out our contact form to set up a free initial consultation.
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