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Dog Bites and Liability: Navigating Personal Injury Cases

Dog owners are responsible for their pets’ actions. If you suffered a personal injury from a dog bite, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim and, if necessary, a lawsuit against its owner.

As with all personal injury claims, determining dog attack liability is the key to successfully recovering fair compensation for your injuries. If you’d like to learn more about how a dog bite personal injury lawyer can help you, contact us at KJT Law Group today.

Liability for a Dog Bite

One of the first things a personal injury lawyer can help you with after a dog bit is determining who is responsible for your injuries. In most cases, this will be the dog’s owner.

Some states have a “one-bite rule,” meaning a dog must have shown previous aggressive behavior for the owner to be liable for a bite. However, California follows a strict liability principle for dog attacks. CIV § 3342 states that a dog’s owner is liable for any injuries or other damages their dog causes, regardless of its history of aggression. 

Some dog owners may try to claim that the victim was antagonizing their dog, on their property illegally, or acting as a threat to them or their pet. If this happens in your case, your lawyer can gather evidence to help refute these claims. 

Compiling Evidence That Proves Liability

To prove liability, your dog bite injury lawyer will need to collect evidence to prove that the dog’s owner was responsible for your injuries and other losses resulting from the animal attack.

Such evidence may include:

  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Video footage
  • Photographs

If an injury occurred on the pet owner’s property, it may be difficult to obtain video surveillance footage. However, if such footage exists, your personal injury attorney may be able to obtain documentation that forces the pet owner to release it.

Understanding What Damages You Can Recover in a Dog Bite Case

With liability determined, the next step in the personal injury process is determining what damages you could recover in your dog bite claim or lawsuit. Your losses may include both economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages may include:

  • Medical expenses, including the ambulance, emergency room, hospital bills, surgeries, medications, mobility aids, and any other medical treatment you required because of the dog bite incident
  • Lost wages due to time away from work while you recovered from your injuries
  • Other damages with a distinct monetary value

Non-economic damages may include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Disfigurement
  • Scarring
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Any other trauma you suffered that does not have a specific monetary value associated with it

Unsure Whether a Damage Is Recoverable? Consult With Your Dog Bite Injury Attorney

If you are unsure whether a specific damage you suffered is recoverable, speak with your attorney. We are happy to answer any questions you have about your damages or other aspects of your case. Your personal injury attorney will ask the necessary questions and determine what damages to include in your dog bite claim.

By compiling the sum of all your economic and non-economic damages, your dog bite lawyer will determine the amount of financial compensation you deserve. They will use this total to negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company on your behalf. We can also file a dog bite lawsuit and represent you in court, if necessary.

Our Dog Bite Attorneys Charge No Upfront Fees

Some dog bite victims want to try to settle the situation with the insurance company without any legal guidance. They may believe that this strategy will help them save money. However, this is generally not the case.

At KJT Law Group, our dog bite attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means we do not earn any money unless we help you recover compensation. We only get paid if you do. 

In addition, our attorneys can ensure you seek all the damages you are entitled to and assist in proving dog owner responsibility. This may lead to a larger settlement, resulting significantly more compensation than you would have received if you had handled the situation without legal assistance, even after paying your attorney’s fees.

Get Your Free Dog Bite Claim Consultation Today

Whether you decide to contact a lawyer will depend on your specific situation. In some instances, you may benefit from seeking the assistance of a lawyer immediately after you suffer a dog bite. In other circumstances, you may decide to wait to seek the assistance of a lawyer in hopes that you can resolve the situation yourself.

However, if the other party does not cooperate or you suffered catastrophic or disfiguring injuries, we recommend seeking legal assistance as quickly as possible. For more information about dog attack liability, contact us today at KJT Law Group by calling (818) 507-8525.

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