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 personal injury attorneys. Eric Ratinoff Law Corp can help you navigate California’s dog bite laws and fight for fair compensation.
What Does the 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. You have two years from the date of your accident to file a claim. Filing sooner, however, can 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.
How Can a 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, there are still requirements and burdens of proof you must fulfill. Our law firm can help you file your paperwork within the deadline, gather evidence if possible, and fight for full compensation for all economic and non-economic damages.
Eric Ratinoff Law Corp knows how to predict and combat common defenses to 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 personal injury attorneys, not an assistant or paralegal. Let us know how we can help you after suffering injuries in a dog attack. Call (916) 970-9100 to schedule your complimentary case evaluation.