If you were injured by a dog bite or attack in Stockton, you might be entitled to compensation from the dog’s owner. The Stockton personal injury attorneys of OnderLaw could represent you in your case and help you hold the owner liable for your medical treatment, lost income, and other losses you suffered.
Dog attacks can lead to severe injuries and even death. Although dogs of a small breed don’t seem dangerous, they can inflict serious harm when they bite someone, just the same as big dogs can. Their teeth are sharp and can puncture the skin and damage the muscles, nerves, and tissue below. Most victims require emergency medical care to clean out the wounds and prevent infection.
Medical bills are expensive. You could face debt if you’re paying out of pocket for the various costs you incur from the injury. You should not be financially responsible for these expenses if your actions didn’t contribute to the attack in any way. The dog’s owner should assume liability and provide the necessary compensation so you can heal and move forward with your life.
The Stockton dog bite injury lawyers of OnderLaw are available 24/7 to take your call. We are prepared to advocate for your rights and pursue the maximum possible compensation. We will remain by your side from start to finish of the process and provide the guidance and support you need to get through this traumatic experience. Call us for your free initial consultation today.
Some dog breeds are more aggressive and dangerous than others. If you encounter one of these dangerous breeds, you could be at a greater risk of suffering injuries in an attack. However, even non-aggressive breeds can bite someone for various reasons.
The most common causes of dog attacks and bite injuries are:
If a dog attacked you, you should take immediate action to hold the dog’s owner liable. They should be financially responsible for your injury and resulting losses if their dog caused any harm.
A dog bite isn’t the only thing you should worry about during an attack. You could suffer additional injuries if the wound becomes infected or complications arise from severe damage. The most common injuries caused by dog attacks are:
Without immediate and adequate medical care, you could experience a range of complications that put your health and life at risk. The most common complications of dog bites are:
Some infections that spread throughout the body can cause significant damage and put the victim’s life at risk. In some cases, surgery is the only option, and a doctor might need to amputate a leg, hand, or arm to prevent the infection from spreading any further.
California is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. That means the owner becomes liable for any losses the injured party suffers, such as medical expenses, regardless of the owner’s knowledge of their dog’s viciousness or the dog’s previous vicious behavior as long as the victim were lawfully in a private place like the owner’s home or on public property.
The only exceptions that could prevent the dog’s owner from being liable are:
Trespassing – The injured victim was trespassing on public property or unlawfully on private property. However, it might be possible to seek compensation if the owner knew their dog was dangerous or was negligent in causing the attack.
Government animals – A government agency used the dog for police or military work and:
Comparative negligence – California has a pure comparative negligence statute. That means a jury could reduce a person’s financial award by their percentage of shared fault for an injury. If the victim’s actions contributed to the attack in any way, the owner is no longer 100% liable for the resulting losses.
Assumption of risk – Some occupations come with inherent risks that the employee knows about. For example, veterinarians and kennel workers know they could suffer injuries from a dog bite or attack. They assumed the risk by entering these occupations, so strict liability would not apply to the dog’s owner. However, they can pursue compensation if the owner’s actions were negligent.
Many dog bite victims know the owner. You might be their neighbor, friend, or family member. If the attack happened on their property, you don’t have to sue them for compensation. You could file a claim with their homeowner’s insurance company. However, it’s crucial that you understand how homeowner’s insurance policies work.
Not all insurance companies provide automatic coverage for dog bites. The homeowner might need to opt in to obtain that specific coverage on their policy. Some insurance companies include breed restrictions, meaning someone injured during an attack by that particular breed of dog can’t hold the owner responsible under strict liability laws.
If the dog’s owner does have homeowner’s insurance with dog bite coverage, you could file a claim and seek compensation for the losses you suffered, such as:
If you choose to file a lawsuit, you could also recover exemplary damages as long as there’s clear and convincing evidence that the dog owner’s behavior was malicious, oppressive, or fraudulent. Instead of compensating you for your losses, an award of this type punishes the defendant for their wrongdoing.
There’s a timeframe you must comply with if you want to file a lawsuit after a dog attack. California has a two-year statute of limitations for injury or death due to someone’s neglect or wrongful act. That means you must initiate your lawsuit within two years from the date of your dog bite injury. After this deadline passes, you could lose your right to pursue compensation for your losses in court.
The Stockton dog bite injury lawyers of OnderLaw dedicate our time, attention, and resources to every case we take. We work hard to meet your needs and achieve your legal goals. You will be our top priority as we’re working on your insurance claim or lawsuit and receive the one-on-one attention you deserve.
OnderLaw understands the economic burden of a dog bite injury. You might struggle to afford your medical bills and face possible debt. We don’t want to add more expenses to your plate, which is why we take cases on contingency. That means there are no upfront fees or costs when you retain our services. We won’t expect payment of our legal fees unless we recover compensation for you.
If you sustained injuries in a dog attack or someone you love died from a fatal dog bite injury, do not hesitate to call OnderLaw . We can review the details of the incident to determine whether the owner should be held liable. We have experience investigating dog bite cases and gathering the available evidence to prove what happened. You can depend on us to fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.
Call right now for your free consultation with one of our Stockton dog bite injury lawyers.