Although dogs are often beloved pets, dog owners must remember these animals have the potential to seriously harm others with their bites. California law thus requires dog owners to take reasonable steps to prevent their dogs from attacking people.
Have you been injured because a dog owner failed to take such steps? If so, you may be able to recover financial compensation for losses resulting from this incident, such as your medical bills.
Review your case with a Santa Monica dog bites attorney at Randolph and Associates for more information. If you deserve compensation, we’ll help you pursue it.
California law establishes fairly strict liability for dog owners when their pets attack others. In California, when a dog causes physical harm or property damage, their owner is liable for said harm and damage, even if the dog did not have a history of aggressive behavior prior to the attack.
However, there are some potential instances in which a dog’s owner might not be considered liable even if their dog attacked someone and caused injuries. For example, if a dog were to attack a trespasser on private property, the victim would typically not be eligible to recover financial compensation.
A victim’s own actions and negligence may also be accounted for when the various parties involved in a case determine how much compensation they’re eligible to receive. If a victim was provoking a dog in some way immediately before their attack, the amount of money they might collect could be reduced accordingly.
Liable parties and their insurers often seek ways to minimize how much money a victim settles for after a dog bite incident. This is one of many reasons to enlist the help of a Santa Monica dog bites law firm when seeking compensation. A lawyer can prevent an insurance company from offering less compensation than you deserve by lying about the degree to which your own actions contributed to the incident.
Seeking compensation after being attacked by a dog in California usually involves filing a claim to collect from the insurance of the dog’s owner or other such negligent party. You may file a lawsuit and pursue damages in court if the owner is uninsured. This is also an option if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement.
Like many states, California has a comparative negligence statute. This law states that the amount of compensation an injured victim may recover can be impacted by the degree to which their own actions or negligence caused their accident or contributed to the severity of their injuries.
For example, maybe you’ve been attacked by a dog and have filed a claim for compensation accordingly. It’s determined that you would be eligible to recover a maximum of $10,000 if the dog’s owner was the only negligent party responsible for your injuries.
However, perhaps it’s demonstrated that you are 20% responsible for putting yourself in harm’s way. The most money you could recover in these circumstances would be $8,000.
Again, California's dog bite accident law indicates a victim might not be eligible to recover compensation if it can be shown that they were attacked as a result of provoking a dog. Even if you weren’t overtly provoking an animal when it attacked you, depending on the circumstances, an insurance company might be able to nevertheless argue that you were engaging in some form of behavior at the time of the incident which caused a dog to perceive you as a threat. The insurance company could use such an argument to justify paying you less than the full amount of compensation you’re pursuing.
You need to be prepared to guard against such accusations. The fact that an insurer is claiming you provoked a dog in some way doesn’t mean you actually did.
This highlights one of the many reasons it’s wise to enlist the help of an attorney when seeking compensation. If you did not actually provoke a dog when it bit you, a qualified Santa Monica dog bites accident lawyer can help you prove this.
The severity of the injuries you might sustain when a dog bites you can vary based on the dog’s size, how forcefully they bite you, and more.
It’s sometimes obvious that medical care is needed right away when a victim has been attacked by a dog. However, there are instances when dog bite victims assume they haven’t been injured, and therefore don’t need to seek treatment.
Don’t make this mistake. It’s always critical that you see a doctor the day of the incident when a dog bites you. At the very least, your wound may become infected if you don’t receive proper medical care. It’s also possible that adrenaline is preventing you from realizing how serious your injuries are.
Err on the side of caution and see a physician immediately after a dog bites you. Taking this step can also improve your chances of recovering compensation later. Seeing a doctor right away establishes a direct link between your injuries and your encounter with a dog, preventing an insurance company from arguing you might have been injured as a result of a separate incident.
Again, you can’t expect an insurance company to immediately pay the full amount of compensation you’re owed when you file a claim. The goal of the insurance company is to protect itself financially.
Your odds of recovering proper compensation will be greater if you have representation from a Santa Monica dog bites lawyer. An attorney can help you by investigating your accident, adding up your compensable losses, and entering into negotiations if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement.
Focusing on your recovery should be your top priority after being injured. While you get the rest you need, our team at Randolph and Associates will handle your case. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us online or calling us at 310-395-7900 for a free consultation.
Randolph & Associates is a top Los Angeles personal injury law firm. Highly recommend If you have an injury or accident. Super helpful and comforting throughout process.— Ryan B., Google Review