Dog bite victims may have severe injuries and deserve compensation from the dog’s owner. However, recovering compensation might not be simple. It may be best to leave this to a lawyer from our firm.
In your case (or your loved one’s case), your lawyer can evaluate your damages, pursue compensation for you, and handle negotiations while you focus on your recovery. In a complimentary case review, we’ll tell you whether you may have a case and what a Hayward dog bite lawyer will do for you.
If you have suffered a dog bite injury, we can handle your case on a contingency fee basis. This means that we handle cases involving dog bites without charging our clients any fee until and unless we recover compensation for them. If you are a dog bite victim, the only fee we will charge to handle your case is a percentage of any compensation we recover on your behalf. You will never owe us any upfront fee or out-of-pocket fee for us to handle your dog bite attack case.
When our clients can’t afford treatment for the injuries they suffered in dog attacks, we get them to doctors who treat them on a lien, meaning they aren’t charged for treatment until their case is over. Doctors are willing to forgo payment of medical bills until our clients’ cases are over because doctors have worked with us for years and know we get great results when we handle our clients’ dog bite claims.
We have been handling dog bite claims for over 30 years. We are familiar with all California dog bite laws. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. We have the experience and know-how to recover the most money possible while handling your dog bite case. Call us today for a free consultation, text us from this page or fill out the free case evaluation form on this page if you or a loved one was injured in a dog bite attack.
Can I Get Compensation for a Dog Bite Injury in California?
Some states have a “one bite rule,” meaning a dog’s owner is not liable for injuries their dog causes unless the dog has shown vicious behavior or bitten someone at least once before.
However, in California, CIV § 3342 states that dog owners are liable for any injuries when dog bites occur, “regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.” So, if a dog bit you while you were in a public place or lawfully on private property, even if the dog had never attacked anyone before, you may have a legal case against the dog’s owner.
You can work with a personal injury lawyer from our firm to pursue compensation from the dog owner. The damages you could pursue include:
- The cost of the medical treatment for your injuries
- The cost of any medical devices you may need, like crutches
- Lost income if your injuries prevent you from earning wages
- Reduced earning potential if your injuries prevent you from doing the same work
- The pain and suffering you’ve experienced
- Your mental anguish if the event was traumatic for you
You may have a wrongful death case if you lost a family member due to a dog attack. In this case, you or a lawyer could pursue wrongful death damages, such as:
- Your loss of companionship
- Your children’s loss of love and support
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- The costs of a funeral and cremation/burial
The Value of Your Case
It can be difficult to valuate your damages by yourself. Your non-financial, intangible damages, like your physical pain, can be especially difficult to quantify.
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The value of your case will depend on multiple factors, including:
- Your injury’s severity: Depending upon the size or age of the dog bite victim, the attack severity and the dog’s size, dog attacks can lead to severe consequences. Permanent injuries can occur, like loss of limbs or fingers, spinal cord or brain damage, disfigurement or permanent scarring, facial injuries and head injuries. Injuries can also cause infection or loss of hearing or eyesight. The compensation will be higher if the injuries are more severe.
- Temporary versus permanent disability or disfigurement: A permanent disfigurement or disability will lead to more compensation.
- Recovery time length: More compensation will result from a lengthier recovery time.
- What area of the body was affected: The compensation will be higher when injuries to the hands, neck or face occur, or when permanent injuries occur, like limb loss, spinal cord damage, brain damage or organ damage.
- The attack’s psychological effects: You might receive more compensation if your attack has led to severe psychological effects.
- Loss of enjoyment, income or work: The temporary or permanent inability to participate in normal activities or work might result in more compensation.
- Amount of medical expenses: The more medical bills you rack up, the more financial compensation you’ll recover.
- Overall recovery prognosis: If you have a slim chance or no chance at all at making a full recovery, you may receive more compensation.
You can leave the valuation of your damages to one of our firm’s Hayward dog bite attorneys. Your attorney will have various methods for valuating your damages, including your pain and suffering, and determining the overall value of your case.
What Can a Lawyer Do for You in a Dog Bite Case?
To recover damages for you, your lawyer will have several responsibilities, such as:
- Investigating your incident: Your lawyer can speak with the police about your dog bite incident and seek evidence of your injuries. This evidence could include the police report, medical records, and photos of your injuries.
- Proving your damages: Your attorney can prove how your dog bite injuries have affected your life with testimonies from medical experts or your loved ones.
- Protecting you from a claim about your negligence: The other party’s lawyer or insurer may claim you were partially at fault in your case, such as by provoking the dog. Your lawyer can protect you from such an accusation.
Proving Your Hayward Dog Bite Case
Those who are bitten by dogs in California have two years to file claims for damages. During this period of time, in order to make sure your claim is successful and that you receive the financial compensation you deserve, you have to be able to prove certain things.
If your dog bite attack took place in a public place, the dog’s owner is strictly liable for your injuries.
Most injury claims in California require the injured party to prove their injury was caused by negligence, or the failure to be reasonably careful, in order to recover compensation for their injuries. However, strict liability means that negligence doesn’t have to be proven. You don’t have to prove a dog owner behaved negligently for the owner to be held liable for your dog bite which occurred in a public place. You don’t have to demonstrate the dog had previously shown vicious tendencies or wasn’t on a leash in violation of a law. The law will hold the dog owner liable for your dog bite injuries even if the dog owner did absolutely everything right.
However, if your dog bite injury happened in a private place like the home of the dog owner, you will have to prove you were at that location lawfully in order for the dog owner to be held strictly liable. In other words, you’ll need to prove you weren’t trespassing. We often help our clients prove this with email or phone records, although dishonest dog owners may attempt to argue you were trespassing in order to avoid liability. Dog owners may also attempt to defend themselves, claiming you encouraged the dog bite or provoked the dog. We are very experienced at challenging defenses like this for our clients.
You will have to be able to prove your injuries were solely the result of the dog bite. In your typical dog bite claim, the dog’s owner is liable. Because of this, the dog owner may attempt to argue you provoked their dog or that your injuries were caused by something else.
A Hayward dog bite attorney at Nadrich & Cohen will protect you from attempts like these. We will gather evidence like doctor’s records and witness testimony to prove your injuries’ true nature so you can prove your justification and need for full compensation.
Your Hayward Dog Bite Lawyer Can Litigate Your Case
Once your lawyer has built a strong case for you, your lawyer will negotiate with the insurer and try to settle your case. However, negotiations can be tricky, especially if an insurer tries to deflect blame or diminish the claimant’s damages. If the insurer does anything like that, your lawyer can litigate your case, taking it to court.
Even the threat of litigation may be enough to convince an insurer to settle. However, your lawyer won’t hesitate to follow through on the litigation if it will help you recover your due damages.
When Children Are Bitten by Dogs
Most of the time, when people are bitten and injured by dogs after they purposely provoke or antagonize the dog, they aren’t able to bring successful injury claims. However, this doesn’t apply to kids. California courts have ruled that the behavior of kids under five years old cannot be considered negligent. Dog owners are liable for bite injuries that young children incur, even when those child upset the dog by pulling their tail or otherwise provoking the dog.
How Long Does a Dog Bite Claim Take in California?
Settling a claim can take a few weeks, a few months, or longer. Resolving a case in court may take more time. However, your lawyer will do everything they can to keep your case progressing.
Your lawyer can aim to meet the filing deadline for a personal injury lawsuit. In California, according to CCP § 335.1, this deadline is two years from the date of an injury. The filing deadline for a wrongful death suit is two years from the date of the deceased individual’s loss of life.
About Our Hayward Dog Bite Attorneys
Our personal injury attorneys have been taking on dog bite cases like yours and many other personal injury cases in California for decades. Over the years, we’ve helped our clients recover more than $400 million in damages, so our cases have been quite successful.
We’re confident we can help you achieve a fair outcome in your case. If your Hayward dog bite attorney achieves a fair outcome and recovers compensation for you, only then will you pay your lawyer. This is called a contingency arrangement, and all of our lawyers can operate on this basis.
Reach Out to a Hayward Dog Bite Lawyer at Nadrich & Cohen Today
If you believe you have a dog bite case, contact our firm. During a free, no-obligation consultation, we’ll evaluate your case and explain what one of our dog bite lawyers will do for you. If you decide to hire one of our attorneys, you can rely on them to handle your legal case while you focus on recovering from your incident.
We’ve been handling dog bite cases since 1990. We know all the ins and outs of proving that dog bite owners are responsible for our clients’ injuries, and defending our clients from accusations that their negligence caused the dog bites.
Our polite, professional, caring staff is available 24/7 to take your phone calls. If a lawyer is not available to take your call when you make it, we will always promptly return your phone calls, as well as any texts or emails that you send us. We treat every one of our clients the same way, no matter how big or small their case is: like family. Our goal is to make sure that you are fully compensated for your losses and that you recover to the full extent possible from your injuries without having to go through financial hardship as a result of your injuries.
For your free consultation with Nadrich & Cohen, contact us today.