Did you sustain injuries from a dog bite? Do you want to learn about your legal options for pursuing compensation? If so, contact the San Diego personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC, so we can review the circumstances of the incident and determine how we can help.
Even the smallest of dog breeds can apply enough force during an attack to break the skin, damaging the nerves and tendons beneath. Suffering this type of injury can result in extensive medical bills while you’re trying to recover from the bite. You should not be responsible for the expenses you incurred when someone else was at fault. At OnderLaw, LLC, our San Diego dog bite lawyers can take on your case and seek the maximum compensation you deserve.
Contact OnderLaw, LLC for your free consultation by calling (314) 963-9000 right now. We will advise if you have a right to hold the dog owner liable for the suffering you experienced.
Seek Immediate Treatment and Legal Representation
After sustaining a dog bite injury, there are multiple steps you should take to protect your rights. It would be best if you can secure evidence at the scene. However, if your injury is too severe, you can leave that responsibility to OnderLaw, LLC. The two most important things to do in a situation like this are to hire an experienced San Diego dog bite lawyer to represent you and go to a doctor to treat your injuries.
A dog’s saliva can carry virus-causing bacteria. An untreated wound could lead to an infection, which can be life-threatening. The doctor should treat any cuts to prevent infections from occurring and might also need to administer vaccinations for tetanus and rabies. Some people require surgery to repair the damage, while others may end up with psychological trauma, requiring therapy.
Be sure to adhere to your physician’s orders and continue with the treatment plan they advise. Insurance companies often look at gaps in treatment as justification for denying someone’s claim or providing a low settlement offer. If you can’t show regularly scheduled, ongoing appointments on your medical records, that could result in much less compensation than you deserve.
As you’re recovering from your injuries, OnderLaw, LLC will investigate what happened and gather evidence. The evidence we find could prove the dog’s owner should be held liable for your resulting expenses. We can speak to witnesses who saw the attack, request copies of your medical records, and look into the animal’s history for previous documentation of biting other people.
California Dog Bite Laws
According to California statute § 3342, a dog owner becomes liable for the injured victim’s losses if:
- The incident occurs in a public setting; or
- The dog bite happens on private property to a guest invited by the owner.
A previous history of the dog’s viciousness or the owner’s knowledge of their dog’s viciousness does not matter when it comes to this law.
You might not be able to hold the owner liable for the injuries you sustained if a government entity uses a dog for police or military work and it was defending itself from harassing, annoying, or provoking actions, or was assisting the governmental agency with:
- Holding or apprehending a suspect for suspicion of criminal acts.
- Investigating a crime or potential crime.
- Issuing a warrant.
- Defending a peace officer or someone else.
San Diego leash laws require owners to use the necessary restraints that prevent the dog from harming other people, animals, or property. They are:
- Use a leash, fence, or enclosure to restrain the dog or control them by voice or with an electronic system while at home.
- Use a hand-held leash six feet long or shorter to control the dog while out in public.
- Protect the dog from falling or jumping out of a vehicle with a harness or another safety device.
The San Diego dog bite lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC are familiar with these laws and can determine if the owner’s actions or inaction led to your injuries. Don’t try to handle your case alone. You could encounter obstacles you don’t know how to overcome. We have the experience and resources necessary to hold the owner accountable for the harm their dog caused.
Common Injuries Caused by Dog Bites
When a dog attacks someone, it could inflict serious harm. You might be lucky enough to walk away with minor cuts and bruises, but many people sustain debilitating or life-threatening injuries. The medical treatment you need to heal could force you into debt and cause significant stress in your daily life.
The most common injuries associated with dog attacks are:
- Significant scarring
- Puncture wounds
- Nerve damage
- Eye injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Torn ligaments, muscle, or tissue
- Psychological damage
- Loss of limb or amputation injury
Whether your injury is minor or severe, you should get the opportunity to seek justice for the dog owner’s wrongdoings and receive the monetary award you need to cover your losses. The losses you suffer should not be your responsibility. The at-fault party should pay for allowing their dog to attack you.
Compensation You Might Receive in a Dog Bite Case
You might wonder how to pursue compensation after a dog attack leaves you with physical and emotional injuries. Depending on where the incident happened, you might be able to file an insurance claim. If it occurred on public property, you could seek a settlement from the business owner’s liability insurance company if they were somehow also liable for allowing the dog on their property. If you were at a friend or family member’s house, you could file a claim with their homeowner’s insurance company.
The losses you’re entitled to will depend on the specific circumstances of the injury, but the most common that are available in California are:
- Emotional distress
- Damage to personal property
- Medical expenses
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement or physical impairment
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
OnderLaw, LLC has the difficult job of determining a full and fair settlement for your losses. We can review factors related to the incident to come up with the right monetary value for your case. We will gather evidence proving the owner is liable for what happened to you and present it to the insurance company. You can depend on us to fight aggressively for the maximum compensation you need to pay for your medical treatment and associated expenses. You should not have to pay for any of these bills yourself.
Filing a Lawsuit in California
California requires following a strict timeframe if you want to sue someone for compensation for your past and future losses following a dog bite. The statute of limitations is two years. You only have two years from the date of the attack to file your lawsuit. If you don’t file in time, you could lose your right to compensation.
You might think two years is adequate time to prepare a legal case. However, unforeseen obstacles could delay the process. If you choose to file an insurance claim first, it could take a while to resolve. If you haven’t filed a lawsuit when the statute passes and the insurance company decides to deny your claim, you will miss out on the chance to pursue compensation through the courts.
One specific law you should know about while working on a lawsuit is pure comparative negligence. A jury could reduce your monetary losses by the percentage of fault you share for the incident. In other words, if your actions partially contributed to your injuries, you would receive less compensation than if the owner was 100% at fault.
As an example, let’s say your losses equal $20,000 after the attack. If the jury assigns you 20% blame, you would be entitled to no more than $16,000 in compensation. Conversely, if the jury assigns total fault to the dog’s owner, you could pursue the entire $20,000.
OnderLaw, LLC Legal Fees and Costs
The San Diego dog bite lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC understand you might face economic strain as you’re paying your medical bills and other expenses resulting from the injury. To avoid adding more stress to your life, we take cases on contingency. That means we don’t charge upfront fees or costs to represent injured victims. We won’t expect payment of our legal fees unless we win your case. If we lose, you will never owe us any money.
Contact OnderLaw, LLC Today
Since 2002, our San Diego dog bite lawyers have represented injured victims and provided the legal services they needed to move forward in their lives. We’ve been able to recover over $3 billion in settlements, and we’re ready to do the same for you. We provide the support and guidance necessary to help you recover after a devastating injury. You can depend on us to pursue the maximum available compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one sustained injuries from a dog bite in San Diego, call OnderLaw, LLC immediately. We will use our knowledge of state laws and our unlimited resources to seek justice and hold the dog’s owner liable for their negligence. Call us at (314) 963-9000 for your initial free consultation.