Sacramento Dog Bites Lawyer
A dog bite can be one of the most serious injuries one can suffer. A puncture wound in a vulnerable area can be fatal, as can numerous bites and crush injuries. Dog bites are also prone to infection and may require rabies shots for the victim.
If you suffered a dog bite or lost a loved one in a dog attack in Sacramento, you deserve representation from experienced Sacramento personal injury attorneys. Eric Ratinoff Law Corp. is well experienced with California’s dog bite laws and will fight on your behalf for fair compensation.
Preventing Dog Bite Attacks in California
More often than not, it is impossible to prevent a dog attack. Sometimes aggressive dogs come out of nowhere. Some specific breeds of dogs may also jump fencing just to attack someone walking down the street. There are various ways you can try to prevent dog bites:
- Avoid stray dogs
- Never approach an unfamiliar dog
- Never reach past a fence to pet a dog
- Never leave a child alone with a dog
- Ask permission before petting a dog
- Do not chase or taunt a dog
- If you see a dog barking ahead of you, whenever possible, walk on the opposite side of the street
If you provoke a dog, that may impact your eligibility for compensation following a dog attack. If you have been assaulted by a dog and have sustained damages, consult an experienced dog bite lawyer in California for guidance surrounding your claim.
California Dog Bite Compensation
In California, the compensation you may receive should account for your financial and non-financial losses you have suffered because of the dog attack. Your experienced attorney may help you get compensation for the following types of damages:
- Medical expenses: You may have needed emergency medical treatment and ongoing care to rehabilitate your injuries. The expenses can accumulate and become overwhelming when you need to focus on recovery after your attack.
- Pain and suffering: A dog bite may cause you pain and suffering long after your incident. Physical recoveries are easier to heal than PTSD and trauma associated with a dog attack.
- Scarring and disfigurement: Scarring and disfigurement can cost you both financially and can impact your quality of life.
- Lost wages or earning potential: You may have to miss work while you are recovering from your injuries, or perhaps your injuries are so severe it impacts your ability to work.
Contact a skilled California dog bite lawyer to discuss your claim and receive the best advice for recovering your severe losses.
How Do You Receive Compensation After a Dog Bite?
If you have been the victim of a dog bite, you could be hesitant to file a claim because you fear that the owner will suffer extreme financial hardship. Maybe the owner is someone you know, like a neighbor or friend. While it may be the case that they will have to pay out of pocket for expenses associated with your case, sometimes there are other options available. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your dog bite injury, your claim may be paid by the following:
- Homeowners insurance
- Car insurance
- Animal insurance
- Alternate sources other than insurance
Your claim may be paid by several sources depending on where the incident occurred. For guidance regarding your dog bite claim, consult a Sacramento dog bite lawyer for an assessment of your claim.
What Does California Law Say About Dog and Animal Bites?
In each state, the dog bite statutes are different. Some states will hold a dog owner strictly liable for attacks regardless of negligence or prior knowledge of the dog’s viciousness, while others require proof that the owner was to blame for the bite in some way. California is a strict liability state, meaning that dog owners will be legally accountable for most dog bite injuries and attacks.
In California, you don’t need to prove the defendant’s negligence as an injured victim. Instead, you need the following five elements:
- The defendant owned or controlled the dog. The person you name as the defendant, or the party allegedly liable for your damages, should be the same one who owned or controlled the animal at the time of the attack.
- You were lawfully on private property or on public property. If you were trespassing at the time that a dog bit you, you might not be eligible for recovery. Trespassing rescinds your rights to file a personal injury lawsuit against the pet owner.
- You did not antagonize the dog. You might also not be eligible for recovery if the defendant has proved that you antagonized the animal, causing it to bite or attack you. This can mean taunting the dog, striking the dog, or otherwise instigating the attack.
- The dog was not an on-duty police or military dog. If the dog that bit you was an on-duty police or military dog performing its duties, the owner will not be liable. The same is true if the on-duty dog was defending itself from provocative behavior.
- You suffered damages. Finally, you must show that the dog bite in question caused you real, compensable damages. These can include medical bills, pain and suffering, property damage, lost wages, and psychological damages.
If you believe you have grounds to bring a dog bite claim against a pet owner in California, make sure you don’t miss the statute of limitations to file. The period of time varies according to various factors, but time is limited from the date of your accident to file a claim. Filing sooner than later can also help strengthen your case and reduce the odds that the dog owner in question doesn’t move or leave the state, making your case more difficult. Contact our Sacramento dog bite attorneys today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your lawsuit further.
How Can a Sacramento Dog Bite Lawyer Help?
Protecting yourself with a dog bite lawyer can help you go up against a pet owner with confidence. Although you don’t have to prove an owner’s negligence to recover damages in California, you must still fulfill the requirements and burdens of proof. Our law firm will meet all legal deadlines, gather evidence, discover all the ways of how the dog attack impacted your life, and fight for full compensation for all economic and non-economic damages.
Contact a Sacramento Dog Bite Attorney Today
At Eric Ratinoff Law Corp., we have years of experience fighting dog attack cases, and we take pride in staying two steps ahead of defense tactics. We know how to predict and combat common arguments against dog bite claims, such as trespassing and comparative fault. We’ll work hard to secure you the best possible financial award for your Sacramento dog bite claim. It starts with a free legal consultation with one of our Sacramento dog attack attorneys. Let us know how we can help you after suffering injuries in a dog attack. Call (916) 579-7658 to schedule your complimentary case evaluation.