If You Have a Serious Dog Bite Injury You May Be Entitled to Compensation.

While dogs have a well-deserved reputation as ‘man’s best friend’, they also have the potential to be extremely dangerous if proper care is not taken by their owners.

According to research published by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, approximately 300,000 people seek emergency medical care for dog bite injuries each year.

Some of these injuries are very serious — in the worst cases, dog bite injuries can lead to permanent scarring, disfigurement, long-term disability, or even death.

Dog owners must be held responsible for any injuries caused by their animals. At Starpoint Law, LC Attorneys at Law, our top-rated Los Angeles dog bite lawyers have extensive experience handling the full range of dog bite injury claims.

If you or your family member was injured after being attacked by a dog in Southern California, you need a strong, effective attorney by your side. For a free, fully confidential review of your dog bite injury claim, please contact our law firm today.

Four Steps to Take After Suffering Dog Bite Injuries

Get Yourself Immediate Medical Attention

If you were injured by a dog, you need to get yourself to a doctor for a comprehensive exam. Certainly, in an emergency situation, immediate medical attention is always a must. Though, any dog bite injury that punctures the victim’s skin requires professional medical attention. With dog bites, one of the biggest threats is an infection. If left untreated, a subcutaneous tissue infection could result in severe medical complications. Get yourself or your loved one to a doctor immediately.

Notify the Dog’s Owner

At the earliest opportunity that you have to do so, you should notify the dog’s owner that you were injured by their animal. It is important that you ensure that the dog’s owner is aware of the incident.

It is often best to do this in writing. To be clear, you are not required to give comprehensive details, nor are you required to give a full accounting of your injuries at this time. You must simply notify the owner of the attack.

Secure all Relevant Evidence

Dog bite injury claims require supporting evidence. Injured victims and their loved ones should try to secure as much evidence as possible about the dog bite incident.

Relevant evidence comes in a wide range of different forms, including photographs of your injuries, identifying information for the dog, the name of the owner, the location of the attack, and contact information for any eyewitnesses.

Relevant evidence comes in a wide range of different forms, including photographs of your injuries, identifying information for the dog, the name of the owner, the location of the attack, and contact information for any eyewitnesses.

Consult With a Los Angeles Dog Bite Attorney

You do not have to go through the personal injury claims process alone. Dog bite injury cases can be deeply complex. Even if you can get the dog owner (and their insurance company) to accept liability, you may struggle to get access to a full and fair settlement offer.

The best thing that you can do to protect your rights is to consult with an experienced dog bite lawyer in Los Angeles as soon as possible after the attack.

Dog Bite Law: California is a Strict Liability State

Dog bite claims are generally handled under state law. This is important because the dog bite laws vary widely across different U.S. states. In California, strict liability applies. In contrast to the vast majority of personal injury claims, plaintiffs are not required to prove negligence in California dog bite injury cases.

Under the legal doctrine of strict liability, a dog owner is liable for any damage caused by their animal — regardless of whether that dog owner did anything wrong and regardless of whether their dog has displayed any aggression towards humans in the past. To establish liability, plaintiffs must simply prove that:

  • They were injured by the dog; and
  • The defendant is the owner of the dog in question.

It should be noted that even though California is a strict liability state, dog owners do have some legal defenses available that may allow them to escape liability in certain circumstances.

Affirmative Defenses in California Dog Bite Claims

The two key legal defense that are most frequently raised by dog owners or by their insurance companies are as follows:

  • The victim was trespassing at the time of the attack; or
  • The victim ‘assumed the risk’.

The first defense is relatively clear in its meaning: you may be barred from bringing a dog bite injury claim if you were unlawfully trespassing at the time that the attack occurred. The second defense — the assumption of risk — is often referred to as the ‘Veterinarian's Rule’.

Dog owners can sometimes escape strict liability if their dog bit a professional in a situation in which that professional reasonably assumed the risk. If you believe either of these defenses might be applicable to your case, you need to speak to an experienced Los Angeles dog bite lawyer immediately. You may still be eligible to recover compensation.

Compensation Available to Injured Victims

A serious dog bite can cause considerable damage to the victims — both in the form of direct economic losses, such as an ambulance bill, and in the form of intangible damages, such as pain and suffering.

It is imperative that injured victims are able to get every penny that they deserve.

Unfortunately, recovering fair compensation can be deeply challenging. The majority of dog bite injury claims are defended by large insurance carriers. These insurers work aggressively to pay out as little as possible in settlements. We can help victims fight back.

At Star Point Law, our dedicated Los Angeles dog bite lawyers know how to hold defendants and insurers accountable. Depending on the specific nature of your dog bite injury claim, financial compensation may be available for:

  • Emergency room fees;
  • All other related medical bills;
  • Lost wages;
  • Reduced earning capacity;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Mental distress;
  • Scarring or disfigurement;
  • Permanent impairment;
  • Reduced quality of life; and
  • Wrongful death of a family member.

Get Help From Our Los Angeles, CA Dog Bite Attorneys Today

At Starpoint Law, LC , our Los Angeles dog bite injury lawyers are strong advocates for the legal rights and financial interests of injured victims throughout Southern California.

If you or your child was injured by a dog, we are here to help. For a free, no obligation review of your dog bite injury case, please contact our law office today. 

Want to talk about it?

Contact a dog bite defense attorney in Los Angeles. If you have suffered injuries from a dog bite and need representation, Starpoint Law can help