DOG BITE CLAIMS: WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
Posted on Friday, December 18th, 2015 at 4:06 am
Dogs are man’s best friend but what happens when a dog turns violent? Even mild-mannered dogs that have never displayed violent tendencies can bite you without warning causing traumatic injuries. Dog owners have a duty of care to ensure that their dog does not harm another person. When a dog attacks, you have the right to file dog bite claims against the owner of the dog to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.
How Does California Compare to Other States for Dog Bite Claims?
The Los Angeles Times reported that dog bite claims resulted in over $64 million for insurance companies. Californians filed 1,919 dog bite claims in 2014. The state had more dog bite claims than any other state in the country. Even though a monetary judgment will not undo the pain and suffering of a dog bite; however, you deserve to be compensated for those damages in addition to your out-of-pocket losses. Dog bite claims allow you to seek this compensation under California’s dog bite laws.
Have you been attacked by a dog in Sacramento, CA or anywhere throughout California? If so, you must seek immediate medical attention for your injuries. A dog bite can result in permanent scarring, disability, and other medical conditions. Your first priority is your health; therefore, after you seek medical attention, then seek legal counsel to understand your rights under California dog bite claims.
What Compensation Can I Receive in California Dog Bite Claims?
The compensation for dog bite clams is similar to the compensation in other Sacramento personal injury cases. The victims of dog attacks suffer physical, emotional, and financial damages. Even though a financial settlement will not take away your pain, it will provide the funds you need to seek continued medical attention for your injuries and pay your living expenses while you recover. It can also serve as a warning to the dog owner and other dog owners that they must restrain their pets and they must take the duty of care for the safety of others more seriously.
In dog bite claims, we often recover compensation for damages including but not limited to:
- Past and future lost wages and the loss of earning capacity (including the loss of other benefits such as vacation pay, raises bonuses, etc.)
- Past and future medical bills (including compensation for physical therapy, medical devices, reconstructive surgery, over-the-counter medications, etc.)
- Physical pain, emotional suffering, and the loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disability, scarring, and disfigurement
- Attorney’s fees and court costs
- Punitive damages, in some cases
Punitive Damages in Sacramento Dog Bite Claims
Punitive damages are a special type of damages awarded in some dog bite claims to “punish” the dog owner for the attack. Punitive damages are typically awarded in cases involving fraud and/or malice. Under California Civil Code §3294, if the dog bite victim can prove the dog owner acted with malice or fraud, the victim may be entitled to receive punitive damages in addition to compensation for his or her other damages. Punitive damages are used in cases where the defendant acted in grossly negligent manner that endangers a person or the general public to send a clear message to others that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.
Do California Dog Bite Laws Require a Dog to a Violent History to File Dog Bite Claims?
Under California’s dog bite laws, the dog that attacked you or your family member does not need to have a history of attacks, violence, or aggression in order to hold the dog owner liable for damages in dog bite claims. When a dog bites a person for the first time, the person can receive compensation for his or her losses if the person was not trespassing and did not willfully provoke the dog at the time of the attack.
Have You Been Injured in a California Dog Attack?
If you or a family member has suffered from a dog bite or dog attack, you need an experienced Sacramento dog bite attorney to help you. Contact the dog bite attorneys of Tiemann Law Firm. Call our office at (916) 999-9000 or contact us online for a free dog bite claims consultation.