Palo Alto Dog Bite Attorneys
Palo Alto Dog Bite Attorneys
According to dogsbite.org, each day in the United States, about 1,000 people require emergency treatment for dog bites. The same source notes that annually, more than 14,000 are hospitalized for bite wounds. Here at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, we help dog bite victims recover compensation for their injuries. If you’ve been injured by a dog or other domesticated animal – or you know someone who has – reach out to us online or give us a call.
I’ve Been Bitten. What Are My Legal Options?
In most personal injury cases, injured parties need to prove that someone was at fault to recover damages. However, dog bite cases are different. In California, dog owners are “strictly liable” for injuries that their animals cause. California Civil Code Section 3342 states that: “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.” In other words, you do not need to prove that the dog’s owner acted negligently or was somehow at fault for your injuries: all you need to prove is that you were injured and that the attack occurred when you were on public property (or lawfully on private property).
Compensation for Dog Bites
The compensation you can recover for a dog bite injury depends on the specifics of your case, like the severity of your injuries. Generally, though, there are a few types of damages that you can recover.
- Economic damages (those that are meant to compensate you for losses you’ve sustained due to your injuries), and
- Non-economic damages (compensation for intangible losses, like pain and suffering and reduced quality of life).
Economic damages may include items like past and future medical expenses and lost wages. On the other hand, non-economic damages include items that are harder to quantify, like emotional distress and diminished quality of life that you suffer as a result of the incident.
What About Police Dogs?
The law protects police dogs in some situations. However, the dog must be “on duty” for those special protections to apply. In other words, if a police dog attacks you while it is off duty, California’s strict liability law applies. Before moving forward with a claim, you need to understand the nuances of your situation that may affect the law that applies. As such, seek the highest-quality legal representation before you attempt to negotiate with a liable party or insurance company.
If You’ve Been Injured, Don’t Delay
In California, a two-year statute of limitations applies to most personal injury cases. This means that you have two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit. If you think you might want to pursue damages in the future, don’t delay: Even the process of filing an insurance claim can take time, so it’s vital to act quickly. At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, we have recovered more than $300 million for our clients, a large portion of which has been in dog bite cases, and we can help you pursue compensation for your injuries. During our free consultation, we will evaluate your case and provide you with an overview of the next steps to take in pursuing the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. With our history of success in dog bite cases and in-depth knowledge of relevant law, our team can guide you throughout each stage of your case. Schedule a low-risk consultation today by calling 1-800-GO-Harris or by sending us a message online.